dinsdag 19 november 2013

Winter is coming...

Yeah, I know, tacky, overused title, but the alternative was  "Guards, guards!" .

You see, I've (finally) finished my basic unit of Winterguard:
(The photo isn't the greatest, crappy light today....)

I actually started on this unit several years(!) ago, back in the days of Mk1, it has lingered in the to-do pile far longer than it deserved.
I've still got my Rocketeers and UA in blister, they're the next batch of Winter Guard. Not next up on the painting table though. I have other units already based and ready for primer. Which those are? You'll see eventually, I haven't yet decided where to start myself...
Plus I've promised myself a solo or other single model as a reward for finishing a unit. (I find painting units a bit of a chore. A relaxing chore mind you, but still lower on the fun-o-meter than spending some time with a single figure. Apparently I'm no good with repetitive work.)

So, what else have I been up lately, now that Zomtober has passed?
I've played the Halloween zombie game I had planned. A little less turnout that I had hoped for, but we still had fun.  No AAR, as we all forgot to take regular pictures... Like some sort of Morbid Martha Steward I baked cookies... Zombie finger shortbread to be precise, which got a laugh from folk and were nommed with some enthusiasm. :-)
As far as the Great Garage Purge goes; I worked up the nerve to sort out and re-organise my collection of stuff (raw materials and models) for the Space Hulk 3D/Howling Griffons/Genestealer Cult conjoined-hybrid project. That stuff is now properly organised, neatly tucked away and I have a clearer view of what I already own. Hopefully that should lower the hurdle for actually starting on that again. The former sprawl of disorganised crap was rather, erm, dissuasive to actually, well, even going near it...
Which means that the garage is nearly done, just some minor stuff still to sort and then the final organising and stowing of stuff.

I've played a game of  Warmachine Mk2, a nice little introductory 15 point affair with a good mate of mine. I got solidly trounced (He's got at least double my years of wargaming under his belt and a keen mind for nasty tricks...), but it was a blast!
Hence my renewed painting of Warmachine stuff.

See you next time!

zondag 27 oktober 2013

Zombtober, the fourth

That's it then, final deadline* for the Zombtober challenge.

*: Hehe, deadline..zombies..he. Hmm.Right.

This time, a final survivor, I present to you:
Old Lady Johanssen:
She seems a tough old bat, with her wellies and shotgun and all. Like all of Kev White's sculptures, she was a joy to paint and has great character. During painting I found myself already having ideas for a bit of backstory for her. I've decided that, prior to the zombie outbreak, she grew up in WWII, buried both her sons, and hospitalised two muggers... The zombies are a minor inconvenience to her. At least she can do something constructive about all the brain-dead assholes running around now...

The sun was unnaturally bright today, so her (normally already somewhat muted) tones have been washed out a bit.
Once again, a miniature from the lovely people at Hasslefree Miniatures, this one is Madge.
This brings my total current pool of survivors to 10 (plus a weird purple cat...).
I really should do a group shot of them one time.

In the end, this brings my total Zombtober-related painting tally to:
-3 Survivors
-2 "Personality" Zombies (Waldo and Mime)
-12 Lampposts
-1 Section of pavement
-9 Gas canisters
-4 Fire extinguishers
-1 "Soylent Green" vending machine
-9 Zombies*
And 1 Portolet....

Not bad at all. (Anything with an asterisk was already paint in progress before Zombtober, all the others are items started and finished in Zombtober itself.)

I've still got one item on the Zombtober calendar: On Halloween night, I'll be hosting a Zombie survival game for a couple of friends.
I'm looking forward to it. I just need to quickly finish a rule set for it....

Thank you to all who participated! And the Eclectic Gentleman, especially, for organising the inspiration behind this bout of productivity. Please saunter over to his blog to see what all the other folks have been up to!

dinsdag 22 oktober 2013

Zombtober, three and a half.

Not really a zombie or survivor, as stated in the zombtober challenge, but still related to my greater Zombtober effort.
I've decided to cap off Zombtober with a Zombie survival game on Halloween. This means I need to prep some more stuff that has been long lingering in WIP-limbo.

So I present to you:
The most well-lit street this side of the Zombpocalypse!
Oh, and a portolet....

The streetlights are from Fenris Games (the portolet too, I think, it's been a while since I bought it). They require some bending and assembly, but give a rather nice finish.
I've painted them with a mix of grey (Vallejo London Grey, I think) and Vallejo Metallic medium, followed by a GW Badab Black wash. This gives them a nice dull, corroded aluminium sheen. The lights themselves are painted with a similar mix of an off-white and Vallejo Metallic medium. Gives a good enough effect.

Naturally they aren't fixed permanently onto that single sidewalk. That'd be silly!
The thicker rim you see at the bottom of the lamppost is in fact a rare earth magnet. The sidewalk (like all sidewalks for my one-day modular city) are painted with ferrous (so called "magnetic") paint. This way, I can attach lampposts, street signs, etc. without them having big, conspicuous bases. Plus if someone nudges them during the game, they simply detach, with a minimal risk of damage or breakage!
This particular sidewalk is a quick paint test, for the greater mass of sidewalks. Just black primer, with a few blasts of white primer misted over it. The seams between the tiles and curbstones are simply painted on with dark grey paint.

In the background is my current collection of survivors. Here they are from a little closer up:
Mostly Hassslefree mini's, with a couple of old Grenadier miniatures in for variety.

Now to select which survivor or zombie to paint for zombtober's final week....

donderdag 17 oktober 2013

Zombtober, the third

Whew! It's been a productive week so far!
What I got done:
-2 batches of semi-finished zombies (from the last aborted zombie-painting push some time ago).
-2 themed undead (no special rules, just distinctive for fun and flavour)
-Again some scatter scenery to fill time otherwise spent watching paint dry: 4 fire extinguishers.

Here's the pics, first the two batches I finished off:
Two kids and 2 senior citizens, from Zombiesmith I believe.

Mantic plastic zombies, painted up in orange convict overalls.

And this is the new stuff,  started and finished this week, as part of Zombtober:
Silent but deadly.... The zombie Mime, from Hasslefree Miniatures.

When there is no more room in hell, Waldo finds you! Waldo is converted from a Wargames Factory plastic zombie.

Nothing too fancy or elaborate, just basic workman-like paintjobs on these models. After all, they're only part of the hordes of nameless dead.  That being said, I rather enjoyed painting these up. Especially the mime and Waldo gave me a certain glee to work on. I'll just quietly slip them into the larger mob, and wait if someone spots Waldo during a game....

Oh, and the fire extinquishers, from Black Cat:

That's it for now, I'll see you again for the next installment of Zomtober!

donderdag 10 oktober 2013

Zombtober, the second

Well, it's an early Sunday this week, but here is my second "entry" for the Zomtober challenge...
I present to you all, Ruby, second of the duo of professional mayhem causers:
(once again with the flaw-enhancing magnification....)
And her lovely aft side (Mr. White certainly knows how to shape his ladies!):

And a little extra, I worked on these while the washes were drying as I worked on Ruby and Blaze:
Useful for when you need to cook, but also when stuff needs to be blowed the heck up... ;-P
I know at least two players in my little group who won't be able to resist shooting at these.

 Edit: Oops, it seems I left some things out...
The lovely lady is, ofcourse, Dionne from the ever wonderful people at Hasslefree miniatures.
I got the butane/propane tanks from Fenris Games in their street furniture line.

zaterdag 5 oktober 2013

Zomtober, the first

I just put down the brushes on my first survivor painted in the name of Zomtober.
Here she is (in all her flaw-enhancing magnification...):
 And the rear of her coat:

The figure is, ofcourse, Hasslefree's excellent Dionne (b) figure.
I've got the version without the trenchcoat as well, she is next in line on the painting table.
I'll be painting her  differently from this "Dionne", so I may be able to use them together on the table. I'm imagining them as (twin?) sisters or lookalikes, perhaps operating as a team of professional hitmen/zombie Hunters?

Week one: done, three more weeks left...

Looking through my various survivors and zombies as a result of Zomtober, I'm getting a hankering to play some games again. Maybe a Halloween game to properly finish Zomtober may be in order?
I would first need to find a ruleset I like though...

maandag 30 september 2013

Night(s) of the Living Lead

So, there I was, cheerfully minding my own business, gearing myself up to do some =I=Munda stuff again (see the Priest in the previous post)... The great Purge of the Garage is also progressing steadily, I am gathering the nerve, and time, plus sorting room to straighten out my cubic yard (at least) of materials and miniatures I've gathered for the Space Hulk 3D project.
Then this post comes along on the Lead Adventure forum.
I couldn't resist... I mean, come on, we're talking zombies here!

I think this is rather timely, some way. I found the last two weeks I couldn't get myself started or keep going on hobby stuff (besides reading the new Space Marine Codex).
I was wondering why, and this dare made it clear to me; the last few things I've been doing were for projects with a big picture, something I felt I needed to "get right" (WHQ for the misses, Howling Griffons army, =I=Munda, which I more or less think of as doing "art", plus prepping to take on Space Hulk 3D again. All long term projects too...). 
I guess I just need to do some one-offs. Just do stuff, without the weight and distractions of a greater project hanging over them. Stuff I can dive into, enjoy the "doing" of it, without considering if it will fit and match with any other stuff or needing to race to the finished product because there is so much more in the project, and once done, put it in the cabinet and not need to think about until the next game I need it for. Cleanse the palate as it were.

I think I'll have go have a root around in the box marked "zombies and survivors" tomorrow... :-)

woensdag 18 september 2013

The Deacon Reclaimant

Well, the new miniatures cabinet has been filled up. I had hoped to have some extra room for future expansions. But once I added all the miniatures I had roaming the house because they didn't fit in the previous cabinet any more, the new cabinet was full. True, I arranged my mini's for display now, and left a little bit of room for expansion here and there, so I should be able to compact some set ups once new stuff is added.

Speaking of adding new stuff, here's a wee man I worked on today:
He will be part (the nominal leader) of an Ecclessiarchy warband. What I still need to do on him: Greenstuff the various seams from the mini's assembly. Sculpt the stylised sunburst around the skull on his Big Man Hat, so that the combination of skull, filigree and starburst resembles the Ecclesiastical "I". Oh, and he'll need a base too I guess....
He will be unarmed, and utterly useless stat-wise (I'm thinking juve stats in =I=Munda, generally old-man level stats in Inq28, but with hig Sag and Will.) Everything about him just screams self-righteous, pompous and overbearing, but utterly useless in combat. A nice liability for the more combat-oriented members of his retinue to protect. :-)

Background-wise the good Deacon will be a member of the Order of Blessed Reclamation. They're a variation of the Imperial Creed that is focussed on finding, and reclaiming, the various Relics that have been lost or misappropriated over the long Millennia of the Ministorum's existence. Some members are Indiana Jones type figures, specialised in retrieving relics from former (or active!) battlefields, alien-occupied territories and the wild space between and beyond the reach of the Imperium. The good Deacon is not one of them. He specialises in reclaiming Relics from other Imperial organisations or noble families through diplomacy. His favourite tactics is to use his skill at oratory and wide judicial knowledge to bore his target into submission... You see, the Relic in question belongs to the Church, it always has and always will, simply by dint of it's nature and existence, he just has to make the current caretaker see that truth. Usually by talking and talking and talking and.....
In the end, most "caretakers" will eventually gladly give up the prize, if only to shut the Deacon up!

zondag 15 september 2013

A new home for my miniatures, pt.2

Phew.... Just finished giving the display cabinet a thorough clean. Boy, did it need it!
Storage hadn't been kind to it, grimewise, and apparently a previous owner had it in a room in which his or her pet birds were allowed to fly free.
I had to chisel some amount of, erm, "birdstrike" off the top. Luckily it hadn't eaten into the wood, so I got rid of it in time.

Degreased the windows, got them nice and shiny and transparent again.
Here she is, airing out the smell of cleaning agents:
Looking at how well it cleaned up, and the price it cost me, I'm currently as happy as a bivalve mollusc!
Tonight or tomorrow I'll take my time to transfer my mini's over (maybe give them a little clean as well, they've gone somewhat dusty in the old cabinet...).
But for now, I'm going to take a moment, and enjoy the shininess of a well-cleaned glass cabinet*.

*: Just compare the pic above to the uncleaned one in my previous post...

zaterdag 14 september 2013

A new home for my miniatures...

No, I'm not selling off my collection, or anything that dramatic!
I got a new display cabinet.

The current (previous?) cabinet was full to (beyond) overflowing, and has been for a while.
In fact, I couldn't fit in the new miniatures I painted during the last three years or so, maybe even longer.
And that was with the least played army in storage in boxes.
So, my recently painted miniatured have had to suffer the indignity of having to linger on my painting table, or get ignominiously stuffed back into the project trays and boxes they came from.
No longer!
Today I went to pick up the new display cabinet I found through an online marketplace.
It needs some cleaning up, having come from someone's storage, but then I'll be able to give all my painted mini's the space they deserve.
I'm a happy camper today.... :-)

Anyway, this was the old situation:
This pic is actually a few years old now, since then the Ork army has expanded to occupy three layers and the bottom two layers have been compressed together onto one plate. Pretty sad, isn't it?

And this is the new cabinet, I just need to give it a good clean and fill it up with my (and the misses') painted stuff:
Sexy, isn't it? Can't wait to get the lights hooked up and put my stuff in.

Have a nice weekend!

maandag 9 september 2013

The Great Terrain "Stuff" Purge of 2013.

I've been wargaming for close to 17 years now...
As any wargamer does, from time to time you come across bits and bobs that make you think: "That would be great for terrain!" If you can get away with it, you take the item with you and keep it until you can use it.
So did I the past 17 years, I too collected "Stuff"
As you can expect, "Stuff" tends to accumulate faster than you can process it.
The last decade, I haven't had cause to sort and clear out this accumulated "Stuff". Unsurprisingly, the mound had grown to some size. It was also packed in a dreadfully inefficient manner.
Today, I  initiated a long overdue purge. I took part of the mound of "Stuff" from the garage, and went through it.
I threw away all stuff that, in hindsight, was "useless", very common, and thus easily replaced, or didn't fit with those projects I was realistically ever going to work on.
Parts that I knew were irreplaceable, or just too plain cool,  I granted clemency from this regime.
What remained was organised, put in smaller containers and repacked.
This is the result of my efforts:


 (Yes, I'm a hoarder... If we had cats, I'd end up on one of those reality shows)

Note: Each box missing in the second pic is room I now have to store terrain that I build with the "stuff" that is left. (I haven't built new terrain for several years now, simply because I had no place left to store it...)

Now remember, this is just the "generic" stack of  "Stuff", I have more...

"Stuff" I still have to purge/organise and store properly:
-The "Stuff" I accumulated/bought for a multi-era city project.
-the "Stuff" I set apart/gathered specifically for my Space Hulk 3D project.
-"Stuff" that just got stacked in between somewhere, and didn't even make it into proper boxes...
- "Stuff" I got from a friend, along with his modular bunker/underground complex terrain.
-Proper materials (aka "non-Stuff Stuff") like plasticard, plastic tubing and rods, flocks, expanded foam sheets and foamed PVC sheets.

The Purge continues....

woensdag 28 augustus 2013

The Cult rises again

No words and numbers today, just greenstuff and plastic. (Oh, and resin, for the bases... Sorta plastic too.)

I've been adding greenstuff to some of my little friends:

For some reason my Howling Griffons and Genestealer Cult just go together, can't work on the one, without giving the other some love as well. I guess it's because they're both offshoots of my long suffering Space Hulk project...
Same goes for the =I=Munda stuff, my Scavenger Crew, been eyeing them again as well lately.
For now, I'm content to pick up where the muse takes me. Today, that was gribbly alien bodysnatchers. :-)

Some of these Genestealer Hybrids (the two rightmost ones) have been finished somewhat longer, back when I had my previous bout of working on the Hulk/Cult. The three on the left are the most recent additions.
I'm thinking, five is about enough to set on a painting desk? So, they'll step up when I next take out the painting gear. (Which means clearing away the modelling kit, and for the time being, I'm having fun modelling, so I'm continuing that for now.)

dinsdag 27 augustus 2013

Rules-mashing continues!

I could have responded in the comments, but I'd rather put this in a new post, seeing as it sheds some light on my reasoning and what I want to achieve with this IHMN/ItEN mashup.

Seems I've attracted someones attention...  ;)

Hi Craig!
Thank you for making such a wonderful set of rules! Twice!

I know the 40K you wanted to replicate! I just missed it (having only found 40K in 2nd edition), but veteran friends showed me the "good old stuff"...
I loved the wildness and madness of it. Still do, and I miss it in the current iterations of the game.
The way I see it, ItEN and IHMN do have that sense of excitement and freedom I seek.

Thank you for the encouragement!

I'm not too worried about balancing, I firmly believe one shouldn't let balance get in the way of a good game, or story. :D
Come to think of it, I think that IHMN being set in (and optimised for) an alternate 1890s, is actually a bonus. With the Victorian era being a transitional period from (often centuries old) traditional methods to modern industrial means (even moreso with VSF "weird tech" and Mysticism), means that it should be able to stretch the rules in both directions towards future  and past. In addition to VSF I could use them for Feudal/Questing games, moderns, as well as Sci-Fi/40k.
Heck, if I get things right, I might even be able to pull all three off in the same, single game! ;D
That's why my goal isn't to replace the gear and stats from IHMN with 40K content, but instead add them to it, and allow the possibility for interaction between them.
I'm not making it easy on myself, am I?

In the Majestic Emperor's Name!

Or something like that...

Anyway, what I'm getting at is mashing up two similar rulesets, so I can use the setting of one, but with the rules of the other...

In previous post, I mentioned In the Emperor's Name, a 40K skirmish ruleset, and In Her Majesty's Name, a VSF branch of the same rule-tree.
IHMN is, in my eyes, the more polished and flexible ruleset, so I'd prefer using that, as I can also use it for a lot of my other gaming interests. So porting the 40K style of ItEN to IMHN should be effortless, no? Well, ItEN is d6 based, and IHMN d10 based, so a lot of values are skewed by this.

The last couple of days I've been comparing stats (weapons and figures mainly), trying to find parallels and extrapolating the rest.

Below is what I've got so far. There are still a lot of blanks, especially in the troops segment, as I need to compare and guesstimate them one by one... To be honest, I'm currently prioritizing the troops that I have a personal interest in, and those that are easiest to translate. The rest will follow later.
I'm not certain at all if all my stats are accurate because of two simple reasons: They aren't yet tested, this is just a first draft. And, I'm not precisely fluent in IHMN (or ItEN) yet, I've yet to get some games in. I should start looking for victi..., no, oppon..., no....,erm, fellow gamers, so I can finally give it a go.
So, if you have any comments, feedback or suggestions, please let me know!

Anyway, here's the crunch:
(Update: Added the points cost where I had enough data to calculate them.)

donderdag 15 augustus 2013

A change of pace.

It seems I have scratched the fantasy itch enough for the moment.
I  had a quick game with my son last week, field testing both my knight and a ruleset (In the Emperor's name. I fudged it a bit to accomodate a fantasy game. I've since ordered In Her Majesty's Name, an updated, improved VSF version of ItEN.)

Sadly the noble knight, after making good headway through a monster-infested forest, was defeated by a troll before he could retrieve the maiden he vowed to rescue...
Here are a few pics from the game:

But in the end, he rides to his doom:

Once that was done, I felt the need to do some Sci-Fi stuff. I packed the fantasy away again and dug out my big Space Hulk Project box.
I still had the second half of a Tactical squad to finish, to the past week, I've been painting those.
They're nearly finished:
I just need to paint the banner on the sergeant and assemble them.
They will form squad "Gladius"  led by Sgt. <name pending, thinking of Hektor>.
Unusually this squad isn't named after their sergeant, as is conventional. During the Namur Campaign this squad was part of the assault drop on the secessionist capitol. During this assault they decisively breached the enemy lines and eliminated the enemy command post. This disorganised the rebel defence and shortened the war considerably. As they acted as the sword that beheaded the Emperor's enemies, the squad was bestowed the honorific name "Gladius".
They are squad 6 of the Howling Griffon's 5th company.

From the Space Hulk Project box, I also took some work in progress Genestealer Hybrids, and the second Terminator (armed with Cyclone launcher). Those are currently on the modelling table.
I'll show some pics once I make some more progress on them.

Update: The squad is done!
 I painted some detail on the rear of the squad banner as well, but it refuses to photograph at the moment....
I'll try again some other time.

zondag 4 augustus 2013

What the flock?

They're done! (Almost)

I flocked them with a custom (read: random) mix of medium green and light green medium turf, earth shade fine turf and static grass. I simply painted on PVA where I expected grass to grow and shook the flock mix over that. After allowing it to dry a bit, I shook off the excess. Rinse, repeat for the next hills.
Every few hills I backtracked to hill that had been drying for a bit, to add tufts of grass and flowering grass to the flock here and there.

I had a hell of a time to get the clump foliage to stick to the trees... PVA didn't work, much to watery, stuff kept falling off as soon as I stuck it on (sometimes sooner)!
In the end, I resorted to taking "Bison Kit", a more agressive, tackier glue. That seemed to do the trick.

Now I just need to find a way to make it all stay on. Even as I was moving the hills around while working on them, and taking these pics, they were shedding already... Does anyone have any advice? Please let me know.

And to close things off, a couple of model's eye views:
I particularly like this shot, with the hedge as background:

dinsdag 30 juli 2013

A Quest of my own...

Spent the entire afternoon trying to buy flock for the hills...
The local modelshop in my city has closed, so I headed to the next city over.
Only to discover that the (formerly excellent) shop there had dropped the entirety of their model train and scenery assortment!
Luckily they knew of a specialist model train shop in the next town over again.
Managed to find that place, a quaint little shed of a shop, and they had flock to boot!
Only took me several hours, to buy a few bags of flock. Unbelievable.
So hopefully, I should be able to start flocking next time I have some hobby-time.

maandag 29 juli 2013

Less boring and black now,

these hills have colour!

Had a nice little spare hour and half, without rain, this evening:

I'm rather happy with the way the rocky faces turned out:
Especially the cave:

Ofcourse, creepy caves like this attract a certain type of crowd:
Luckily I have a knight ready and painted to come and pick her up. :-)

The hills and rocks were painted with simple crafts paints and simple large flat crafts brushes (a 2" and 1" wide if I guess correctly).
I still need to paint the creepy trees, maybe add some washes to the rocks for variation. This I'll hopefully do tomorrow.
Once the paint on those is dry, I can proceed and cover the majority of my paintjob back up again with flock.* :-D
These hills are meant to fit onto a verdant green wargames table after all...

*: Speaking of which, does anyone know of a way to get a nice, thick covering of static grass that actually stands up?

zondag 28 juli 2013

No progress on the hills.

As the title says....
The last few days the weather has been somewhat... wet.  Which meant no painting on the hills.
You see, painting hills (at least the way I do it) I anticipate to be rather messy.
As I want to keep the living room, kitchen and sewing/games room clean of paint-splattered walls, that means painting outside.
Not something I want to do in the rain, especially not during a summer storm!

So, I had a nice sit inside today with my paints. Which resulted in this miniature getting finished:
 A while ago I told you about the Dungeoneering/Chivalry/Questing-all-rolled-into-one project I was working on, as a companion to painting the misses' Warhammer Quest?
Well, this is the second hero to get finished for that! (Number one was the female Dwarf Slayer).
And the first of heroes to get/have a retinue.
You see, on the workdesk are 4 archers, 3 spearmen, a Sergeant, herald and squire to follow this violent man around! And now that I have his heraldry figured out (It took me quite a while, and several changes of heart to settle on this colourscheme), they can get painted too.
I just need to finish a few minor conversions on the sergeant and (dismounted version of the) squire.

My plan is to alternate (at random) between painting WHQ miniatures and painting for my own project. The long term plan for my own project is to amass a stable of both Dungeoneering Parties (which are basically small bands of all heroes. My Slayer and a few of her buddies will form one.) and Individual Heroes (Who will get retinues of lesser warriors, like the knight above.). Some groups will most likely blur the line between these two classifications, but we'll see. I mainly plan to assemble groups that I think are interesting rather than stick rigidly to this divide. And ofcourse to collect a menagerie of adversaries, both human and inhuman. :-D

Oh, and Gunbird has successfully lured me back into Samurai... No major disruption, as I'll just add them to my DCQ-a-r-i-1* project as an eastern band of heroes. ;-D I already have a (smallish) pile of them anyway.

*: Dungeoneering/Chivalry/Questing-all-rolled-into-one project... I doubt this acronym will last.

zaterdag 20 juli 2013

Hills: an update

I did continue to work on those hills off and on the past couple of days, but I forgot to post progress....

Here's where I got with the hills when I stopped for the day, last night:
All bark glued in place, and the base texture glued on. The base texture is just the sand I usually use for basing miniatures, glued on by first painting the hills with watered PVA that had black paint added to it

I also painted the inside of the cave entrance with this mixture:

You can't properly see it, because of the Warcaster standing in the way.... Sorry about that. ;-)
You can see though, that the PVA and sand didn't cover everything.
That has been remedied by the next step in the process, which I completed today:

 Extra texture!  
I added ground cork and fine grit basing gravel to the cracks, crannies and other areas where smaller stones might accumulate. Additionally, I used some finer powder in patches to give some extra variation in texture on some of the hills. I hope this works out.

The hills are currently drying outside from a "varnish" layer of glue I sprayed on to fix the smaller rocks and pebbles in place before I can primer them.
Now to figure out how to go about painting them....

See you next time!

woensdag 17 juli 2013

Barking Mad!

Day two of making a mess terrain...

First, a piccie:

Using bark for rocks, and rock-hard putty for bark...
That's what I've done this morning.
Yesterday I puttied up the first tree armature, the one you see on the hill above, and twisted a few more trees. I've also started glueing bark to the hills that need them. And I figured out how to approach a hill a was a bit stuck on.
It's a talll, multi-level hill that I wanted to model like a rocky outcropping that has "softened" somewhat with soil and grass. I got stumped deciding how to approach the one rocky face left to the hill with the small pieces of bark I have to use. This morning it hit me: reduce the amount of rock face to fill! So I went and cut in a cave entrance...
This killed two birds with one stone: It meant I had less surface to cover with tiny pieces of bark, and it gave me a nice cave to use as a monster's lair, or entrance to a tunnel/cave complex.
So, I went and made the cut:

And the other side of it:

As you can see, it is one of my more constructed and "gamey" pieces of terrain I made on this push. I think that was also what was giving me the trouble on deciding how to tackle it.
I had intended to make a tunnel entrance terrain piece later on, but now it just happened naturally. I've glued the bark onto it, since I took those pictures, but you'll have to wait until a next post to see how it turned out, the glue is still setting.

Next stage: Finish the bark on that first tree, the one on the hill, and then proceed to "bark up" more trees! :-P

Edit: Drat! One of the pictures won't show up properly... Anyway, you can also find it here.

dinsdag 16 juli 2013

Guess what's cooking?

Nice weather, couple of days off...

Time to make a mess!!

So I went and got a shiny new stack of styrofoam (XPS to be precise):

(Yes, and a nice spool of wire as well)

The glue on the first few hills is drying at the moment:

Why hills? Well, after close to two decades of gaming, I still didn't have any... <shame> I've been looking over my scenery collection lately, with an eye towards my plans for Quest/Chanson de Geste story-driven skirmish gaming, and I'm in the progress of getting bitten by the Warmachine bug again (curse that Kickstarter...). 
Looking over my (rather small) scenery collection, it looked decidedly...flat.
Hence, hills were required.  I did a quick google for ideas and quickly decided I didn't like the fast and easy stepped hills. I'm a modeler as much as (if not more than) I am a gamer. I want my games and terrain to look good. During this quest for inspiration, I came across TableTop Terraformer's site, I liked his approach and attitude to hill making, and scenery in general, their stuff is amazing! Ideas, inspiration (and some rough and ready sketches) at the ready, I was set to go.
Sadly I couldn't (economically) find the big chunks of bark he used, so I'll have to make due with smaller bark instead (on the up side, I've got a lifetime supply of that stuff now).

So, about the hills themselves:
The bases are foamed PVC I got for free from a friend. Just enough to make the hills sturdy, but still light and easy to work with. They still need to be surfaced with filler before I can start texturing them. These are just some basic smooth hills, just a bit over an inch tall. I've also got some rocky hills in the works/planned. Once those two groups are done, I'm planning to make two or three larger (about the size of that two-part hill) and taller (2") hills.

This is my first experience with XPS, and I have to say, I love the stuff. Cuts easily and clean (unlike the usual insulation foam, with those downright evil little pellets!), my foamcutter plays very nice with it, giving clean and controlled cuts (again, unlike the insulation foam of Dooom!). Seeing how easy and fun it is to carve, I'm looking forward to trying what else I can make with it. :-)

Oh, and I mentioned a spool of wire somewhere earlier, didn't I?
That's another thing I'm wanting to do: trees. I have several stands of trees, but they are rather, erm, friendly looking:

Rather bright foliage, fairly thin trees, like in a young forest, or city park. They've done fine service for about a decade and a half now, and I'll happily keep using them until they desintegrate.
But I also need some more butch, intimidating trees. After all, questing monsters tend to live in dark and forbidding forests... 
That's where the wire comes in, I want to twist it into a collection of trees. (You can see the first tester on the topmost picture of a hill.) As for mounting, I won't put them on nice, flat, park-like bases, like the trees above. I plan to model the "scary" trees on rougher ground: rocks, earth banks and such.
I just need to figure out how to give some trees proper bulk for a "dread king of the woods" type effect.

See you soon, I've got more mess (and terrain) to make!

zondag 19 mei 2013

Got a game in!

I got to play a couple of games this week.
One was a quick intro to tabletop roleplaying for two ladies. Set loosely in the Crimson Skies universe, we played for, I think, an hour and a half or maybe two, including character building. (We used the microlite 20 modern rules).
They both decided to play pilots. One flew with the Fortune Hunters, the other was from Black Swan's crew...
This would be interesting!
I had the game start out in front of a pilot's bar, and both ladies took to the game with gusto, they regularly had my laughing out loud or blinking in disbelief at their actions... Some highlights: The Black Swan pilot chucked a glass of Vodka into the Fortune Huntress's face, swiped a full bottle of Vodka in the ensuing bar brawl and ended up (succesfully) playing the innocent victim once the cops showed up. The Fortune Huntress for her part managed to try and seduce the shotgun-toting bartender as he was trying to stop a brawl, swipe a drunk guy's wallet in the men's room(!), steal a massive .45 to replace her little .22, get in a mexican standoff with the Black Swan pilot, and finally get chased and shot at by at least 4 cops as she (successfully) tried to make her escape. All in only that short time we played!

If either of the ladies in question ever reads this: Thank you so much for a very memorable and hilarious game! It was great!

I will be investigating roleplaying in the Crimson Skies setting further, there's fun to be had there....

Yesterday, I had some friends over for a game of Warhammer Quest. We had a party of five, but because WHQ is notoriously vicious and TPK-prone at battle level 1, and two of the players were new to the game, we decided not to modify the number of monsters.
The (expanded) party consisted of:
-Adelbrecht von Unter-Hosen, Warrior Priest and Lantern Bearer.
-Roderick von Dunce, Imperial Noble
-Balgruuf the Skullsmasher, Chaos Warrior (rolled Frenzy and Mindless, such a joy!)
-Bold Bashing Betty, Trollslayerette
-Bihinoir the Elf

Our mission was to retrieve jewels containing our souls from the Burning Fountain.

The dice were acting weirdly all evening... We barely rolled ones in the Power Phase and got 4 rooms into the dungeon before encountering our first monsters:
That's right, three whole snotlings!
One was kebabed by the Noble's rapier, the others were headbutted to death by a mindless Chaos Warrior....

The rest of the evening continued in similar fashion, with small amounts of monsters (mostly from rooms instead of Power Phase rolls, wtf?) balanced by the Warriors failing to achieve much damage due to the heavy hitters being either boxed in by other warriors, being Mindless or simply underskilled. The noble had a field day, stabbing monsters silly with his rapier, but barely causing any wounds! My Warrior Priest was clearly a latent pacifist, regularly failing to hit at all... He made a small fortune using his Jade Ring on the other warriors however.
This sedate pace was only interrupted by:

A Minotaur!!!
This was a very lucrative encounter for the Warrior Priest...
The Noble bravely attacked (he had no choice!), and soon fell into a fighting rythm: A flurry of stabs, his rapier flitting in and out like a sewing machine's needle (while causing about as much damage), getting knocked dead by the Minotaur, healed again by the Warrior Priest (ka-ching!), rinse repeat (ad nauseaum).
The Trollslayer resolutely stood by his side, thoroughly distracted by the smell of Gold and consistently missed by the Minotaur's attacks. (We think the smell of Gold made the dwarf move so erratically it confused the Minotaur).
The Warrior Priest made a bundle healing the Noble back to life (I consistently rolled doubled on each try... It was almost unnerving.) and alternately Blessing the Noble or the Dwarf (when the Noble was down, again...).
Meanwhile the Chaos Warrior and Elf discussed hair care products, I guess...

Finally the beast was slain and we continued to explore this branch of the dungeon. Sadly our objective was not here and we had to backtrack nearly to the beginning of the dungeon to take the other route.
One room into that alternate route this happened:
A Cave in!!! Now we would never get to retrieve our souls!
We decided to exit the dungeon the way we came, retreat to the nearest village and plan anew...

This was the state of the dungeon as we left:

We encountered a witch on the way back to the village, the Elf bought some weird smelling drink from her...

Back in the village (we decided to keep the characters, and retry the mission some other time) the Noble and Warrior Priest visited the Temple, both receiving minor blessings, the Chaos Warrior visited his own Temple and got his Mindlessness replaced with the Ability to Teleport!
The Elf and Dwarf visited the tavern, both competed in the Armwrestling contest. The Elf also got some useful hints from a stranger. The female Trollslayer (rolling 12 Tavern Events!!!) got riotously drunk, won three consecutive Armwrestling contests, intimidated several local traders and spent the day evading a Norse Barbarian obsessed with covering her in pig fat (she rolled that event 5 times!).

See you next time!

zondag 7 april 2013

Sign of life

Hi folks,

Just a quick message to show I'm still here...
I grabbed an hour or so this weekend to finish the skin on six of the Warhammer Quest goblins (nothing pic-worthy).
I should be able to regain some more hobby-time in about 3-4 months from now. (sigh...)
See you then!

zaterdag 5 januari 2013

Ack! Didn't make it!

My original plan was to get both regular ESWAT Guges done this week.
Sadly, I only got one finished.
The white (aka: the main colour) gave me so much grief, I decided to focus on just one Landmate instead of  painting both side by side. That way I'd only need to strip one if things really went wrong.
It cost me two painting days, but it didn't go wrong, I managed to get the white to an acceptable level (only to have the camera obliterate most of the highlighting and shading, naturally):
Pull over and exit the Landmate! NOW!!
As with the previous Landmate, the AV-aerials (the "bunny ears") are magnetized. They're fragile parts, and this way they can pop loose and back on again without ill effect. Being able to pose them is a nice little extra... :D
The grenade pack can also be added or removed through the power of magnetism.
Again, as with the previous Guges, the base got some asphalt style decoration.It looks nice, and emphasises that these are, in essence, urban vehicles.

So, the last couple of days' painting brings my fully painted Appleseed family to:
From left to right: Regular Olympus Police ESWAT Guges, Administration Covert Ops Guges, Briareos and Deunan. 

Still left to paint:
A second ESWAT Guges, two OpFor regulars Landmates, one OpFor officer Landmate, and 9 renegade Combat Cyborgs (based on Bubblegum Crisis Boomers, but they are still in their plastic baggies).
I guess I will need appropriate terrain at some point as well...
As for a timeframe when these will get finished: No idea... 
Especially since I'll only only be home in the weekends for at least half a year, and I'll need to cram my entire family life, social life and all various hobbies in those short two days. I'll need some time to recharge as well, so I fear hobby-time will often become a casualty.

See you on the other side of the tunnel!