woensdag 25 maart 2015

Something good from Sweden

I don't usually endorse (or participate) in crowdfunding projects, but I felt this one deserved mentioning:
Last year I happened across a Swedish RPG by a company named Järnringen. It's called Symbaroum and grabbed my attention; the art was beautiful and evocative, and what I could gather of the setting (My Swedish is way on the far side of nonexistent...) it seemed very interesting.
The art had a mood that I tend to think of as "Scandinavian"; the nature looks harsh and overwhelming but at the same time with a certain otherworldy, dreamlike quality. The culture, people and even monsters shown have a sense of depth, of history. And the setting, while clearly fantasy, is not standard fare, the conflicts aren't simply "good vs evil" or standard monsters. The factions seem to all contain gradients of both aspects. I like that the main source of conflict is the area of an ancient taboo or interdiction and the attitudes of the various peoples towards that forbidden area and its mysteries and dangers. No faction seems to be arbitrarily or universally a good guy or bad guy, but all are driven by a desire to survive and thrive in this harsh, contested land. Add to that a pervasive sense of mystery and I was sold.
If only it were available in English!

Well, it seems that may be about to happen as they have started an Indiegogo campaign to get an English translation released, check it out here.
No deep discounts, no outrageous stretch goals, just a good product seeking a wider audience.
Have a look if it has peaked your interest.
I wish them luck and hope they reach their goals.

donderdag 19 maart 2015

Foam Party!

Sealant Foam that is, the sort you use to close off hull breaches...
I just finished a quick conversion for a Sealant Foam Gun, aka Webber or Web Gun for one of my Salvage crew members with a slab-shield and wanted to share it with you. (I've yet to decide what the slab-shield will look like though...)

Here she is:

Just a quick conversion using the Cadian flamer, a Space Marine flamer canister and the (inverted) nozzle from a Chaos Space Marine vehicle accesory combi-flamer. I think it looks unique and identifiable to read as a Web Gun instead of a flamer.

Scenario Complications: Religious festivals

I've just finished re-reading the first Shira Calpurnia novel and the way the large religious festival featured in the book played merry hell with her Arbites investigation had me thinking. Wouldn't it be a great theme for a game of Inquisitor (and all it's variant flavours...), Necromunda or any other skirmish set in the 40K Universe to have the edicts of a local religious festival interfere with the actions of your warbands?

So I thought up some possible (Imperium) religious observances and the effect they could have on a game:

woensdag 11 maart 2015

Deep space missionary

Some more assembly on the travelling preacher today.

So here he is, part man, part void suit, part jumble of religious paraphernalia and (dodgy) relics. Travelling the universe to teach imperial citizens the proper worship of the God-Emperor.
But the universe is a dangerous place, even for a man of faith. So his hotshot laspistol and pump action shotgun are a standard part of his travelling kit.
Judging by his stern look (and drawn sidearm) someone is getting schooled on the finer points of Imperial dogma....
He's only tacked together temporarily, as he obviously still needs some work:
-The rods on his pack will get wicks and molten runny wax sculpted on, to be candles.
-The book on his staff still needs to get properly attached to his staff with some metal bands.
-The foil strips on his shoulders will be purity seals, they just need the greenstuff wax seals added.
-I'm thinking of adding a brass etch aquila to his gorget.
Then there's the matter of his stomach plate and the upper part of his pack. I'm not sure if I should keep them empty to maintain the void suit look, or put a purity seal on those as well?
Maybe dump a spare book or ecclesiastical icon on him somewhere while I'm at it...

dinsdag 10 maart 2015

Salvage Crew, progress

The voidsuits have progressed a little further. On the lady, the priest and the crowbar guy I've filled the gaps in the collars. Also the priest and lady got their boots. The priest and crowbar guy have their stomach armour added as well. Plus, the scavenger girl finally has a hairdo! (After several attempts and a minor blue streak...). Oh, and kneepads.
Not much progress on the crew boss, I've filed his gorget into a slightly more graceful curve, in preparation to refine it a bit more with greenstuff. I'm still undecided how to do his stomach armour, so he has been set aside until I figure this out.

The three "greenstuffees":

 At this point, all I need to do on the female Void Crow is add a base and some gear like pouches, etc.  But somehow without obscuring her female shapes... After all, I didn't put so much effort in giving her those curves only to cover them back up later!

Here is a better look at the hair that gave me such trouble:

The first try ended up too flat and a little too far backward. Attempt two was perfect, exactly in the right place, precisely the right shape and definition...And then it detached and fell to the floor. :(
Attempt three I was startled by the telephone and stabbed her hair in half.
At attempt four, I was reaching the  "good enough" stage (Which is only one or two steps removed from the "Eh, she'll also look good bald"-point).
Luckily, all went well on this attempt. Her ponytail and the hairband in it could have been a bit neater, but at that point I didn't dare fiddle with it any more... What if I sneezed?

maandag 9 maart 2015

Blood money

I had an afternoon of daylight left once the necromancer was finished. Not wanting to start on an entire new miniature, my eye fell on a mini that had lingered semi-painted for, oh, I believe a few years now. On a whim, I decided to finish him.
I present to you, the Alien Bountyhunter:
I started this conversion when I was heavily playing Mass Effect 2, hence the colourscheme and grouping of collapsible weapons on his back. As I originally never intended him for 40k, he isn't very "grimdark", which will hopefully make him seem all the more alien...
Like the preacher, he isn't an integral part of any warband, and more of a one-off NPC/excuse for an idea or conversion that I can't/won't build a full crew around.

zaterdag 7 maart 2015

Conjurer of dead things

 I had this song running through my head the entire time I was painting my latest miniature:
It's not often a miniature has such a clear theme song...
Can you guess what he is yet? ;-P

dinsdag 3 maart 2015

Faith and leadership among the stars

Another wee bit of converting for the salvage team tonight. The first item isn't exactly a member of the team itself, but more someone they may meet along the way.

Alexander over on the Ammobunker forum suggested my salvage crew should visit a certain accursed place, the Yggddrasill Arkke. While I like the idea of my crew of scum on that awesome set of terrain, and am quietly flattered someone would think they'd fit in such an excellent setting and showcase of modelling excellence, background-wise I wouldn't let them near that place without a priest!
And so the seed was sown... Could it be possible to combine the imagery of a Void Suit with that of an Imperial preacher?
Both have a rather dominant visual style to define them. The Imperial preacher, as a miniature, relies heavily on his priestly robes for visual identification. Which could potentially clash heavily with the void suit as an all encompassing, heavy, enviroment-sealed suit. As I thought about it a bit, it was a challenge I just couldn't let go. Would it be possible to make a visually and thematically strong miniature, that simultaneously read clearly as both an Imperial Priest and a Void suit?
It was immediately clear I could go two ways about this: Realistically, by making a standard Void suit, and hanging it full with the priests religious accoutrements, treating the suit as a sealed, contained unit. Or the dramatic way, by allowing (part of) the Preachers monastic robes to be worn outside the void suit. Naturally, I applied the maxim "Story before rules" here as well, and chose the dramatic option.
So I present to you,the first steps in the creation of an Itinerant Preacher:
As you can see, he's far from finished, but this shows the basic direction I want to take with him. His feet will be sculpted into Void Suit feet, and he will naturally need to be slathered in religious bling. Currently I'm thinking of giving him a religious icon on a staff in his right hand, and have him pointing a pistol of some make in his left.
I'm seeing this character as a wandering priest, bringing religiosity to the backwoods of the Imperium. As he usually travels mostly from between space stations and deep space mining facilities he has accustomed himself to permanently wearing his Void suit. The familiar gear also aids in getting accepted, and heard, by the locals. He's no big-wig, just a man of faith (potentially a semi-ascetic with a vow of poverty) with the will to preach and a need to wander.

As I was looking for parts, and waiting for glue to dry, I also did a test-fit for the salvage crews Crewboss:
As you can see, being the boss gets you the fancy gear. The gorget-style collar is just a mock-up to see if I like the idea. If I do go ahead with it, the lower edges will get a bit of an arch to them, and I'll try and sculpt a bit of a central crease to the collar itself, giving it all a bit more of a gothic flair.
For the abdomen armour, I'm thinking of either a more fancy version of the articulated belly plates from the light Void suit, or either a peascod or gothic shape plackart. (Disregard the small Bretonnian shield, it's a discarded idea...) His kneepads and toecaps will also get a central crease, to give it that more of an armoured, noble look to them.

As the Preacher is a representative of the Ecclesiarchy and the Crewboss is, well, a greedy showoff, they will both get a more high end powerpack than the rank and file spacers:
 Not nearly finished, but you can see the inspiration/reference in the top of the picture... These two will however be a more workaday edition of the SoB powerpack.
Although, I'm thinking of giving the Preacher a regular, bulky, powerpack after all. Background-wise it would be easier for him to have it serviced at all the backwaters he visits. And it would give me more surface area to model stuff onto him, like a back-up longarm on the side of his pack, and random gear, to tie him in a bit more with the classic metal GW Imperial Preachers.

maandag 2 maart 2015

Salvage crew

I had the time tonight to do a little bit more on the female salvage crew member. I greenstuffed the armour of her voidsuit over her stomach, finished the collar of her suit and reinforced her toecaps:
  I also managed to sculpt her ears... Gods, what an ordeal to sculpt such a tiny thing, of such a particular shape!
But I think I managed quite reasonably:
 Now all that's left to do on her is, greenstuff wise: her hair, the Arbites-style kneepads, with straps and some minor gap-filling. Then it's only a matter of accessorizing and making her a base before I can paint her.
I'm not decided yet what extra gear she is getting, or where it will hang. I don't want to put stuff on her waist, after the time I spent giving her a feminine bodyshape/waistline, I'd hate to go and cover it all up again!
Maybe a coil of rope, a pouch or two or a set of suspensors (a suspensor-dispenser) for moving heavy stuff?

I also did some work on the next member of the crew:
A big brute of a man with his "universal unlocking tool"... I couldn't have a unit of Void Crows and not model at least one crowbar, now could I?

I gave him shims of plasticard at his waist, under his feet and at his shoulders, hoping to make him a suitably big brute of a man. But the effect is less pronounced than I had hoped. Hopefully it will be more noticeable once painted and sat next to his buddies. If I also make sure to cover his base in plasticard, I can gain another mm of visual height.
The crowbar is simply heated and formed plastic rod. The most hassle in this conversion is finding the right arms and hands, and then fiddling to get everything to line up...

He will get the same style of void suit that the little lady is wearing, so hopefully the arms will come back off without too much hassle.

zondag 1 maart 2015

A mind without purpose will wander in dark places

Oh hey, I suddenly saw that I have twenty followers these days. A warm (if belated) welcome everyone!
I've grown so accustomed to seeing the same familiar 3 or 4 followers there for the longest time, I've neglected looking at that widget at all the last couple of months. I just accidentally happened to glance at it before I started on this post, so for me it feels like you snuck up on me. Glad to know there's some interest in my wafflings... ;-) 

In my previous post, I was telling you about my recent wavering focus and doubts how to deal with this. Well, it seems I've decided. It looks like I've gotten of the Dungeoneering/Fantasy/Questing (D/F/Q) monorail and am now running on two tracks: The original plan of making 2015 the Year of the Dungeon will continue, plus I'll be exploring the backwaters of the Dark Millennium.
Wether the latter will find it's home rulewise in Necromunda, Inq28 or at their crossroads; Inquisimunda, is currently of lesser importance to me. Like with the D/F/Q project, I'll be embracing the maxim "Setting and models first, rules last."

So, what does this mean, right now?
Since I have a reasonable stockpile of D/F/Q minis that are ready for primer, at this moment I can happily keep painting the fantasy minis while I build some 40K setting stuff. Hopefully, I can set up a rythm where I can keep alternating in this rythm, building for one, painting the other, and vice versa. It would also mean I can make the most of the daylight hours in the weekends.