woensdag 30 maart 2016

System ships

And in the next episode of "Modhails hobby attention is all over the bloody place", I present to you:
Battlefleet Gothic systems ships.
It's all the fault of the Battlefleet Gothic: Armada pc-game beta. The bases are 1mm plasticard disks cut and sanded to the same size as a small flight stand. The raised circle in the middle denotes the location of the flight stand "stem" for measurement purposes. The ships are mounted on sturdy florists wire.

That is all, carry on.

vrijdag 25 maart 2016

Pants painting

Well, here she is, the finished Miko (Well, almost, I still need to flock the base):

As I would be using much of the same colours, she was joined on the painting table by one of her travelling companions, the itinerant priest:
While the mika maintains some effort to remain neat and presentable, you can see the priest just goes about in his travel-stained clothes.

Both miniatures are from the Perry Samurai range, with some conversion. The Mika has had her hakama added, and the priest has the chest of drawers added to his back. (The RPG character he represents has sworn a sacred vow to only own what he can carry with him, hence the huge travelling case. When creating the character, another friend asked "Why not just get a horse?" To which both the player of the priest and me exclaimed simultaneously: "Do you have any idea how heavy horses are, he could never lift one, let alone carry it!" :D I love my RPG group... )

Now that these are done, I intend to get back to painting my Escher, as well as building some terrain for a mate.

See you next time!

woensdag 23 maart 2016

Pants sculpting

A while ago, I ran a DnD Campaign set in mythological Japan, which sort of petered out over the years. We alternated GM-ing in the group, each GM having their own campaing running, but life and busy calendars caused longer and longer pauzes between games, until they quietly slipped into hiatus.

Earlier this week, I've been dared into restarting my campaign, with the promise of one of my mates restarting his as well. Being the disciplined and focussed individual that I am, I naturally succumbed immediately to this temptation. :P
At the time, I had been working on making miniatures for each character in the party. I don't want to use these to handle combat and such (it's an RPG, not a skirmish wargame after all), but more as visual portraits and occasionally to clarify things like marching order or relative positions.

One of the PCs is a Miko or temple maiden. Of which there are preciously few miniatures... Luckily Perry Miniatures does a few packs of medieval Japanese villagers, which contains a woman holding a fan. Perfect for my needs concerning pose and style, she just lacks the bright red hakama typical of Miko. So, out came the greenstuff and tools (And hence, the title of this post...).

Here's the result:

For those that are interested in such things, the rest of the party consists of an itinerant priest (which you can partially see in background), a rural samurai or ji-zamurai, and two female samurai. Except for the two women warriors, all now have miniatures ready for paint. I'm still looking for suitable minis, with armour in the right style and the right weapons.

See you next time!

maandag 21 maart 2016

Escher, 3 down, 7 to go!

Aaand they're done!
May I present to you, the first three warriors of my Escher gang:
 (In this pic I noticed some wash from her hair has spilled over onto the juves face. This has since been corrected into the youthful smooth skin she is supposed to have...)

And that's them. No names for them yet, or for the gang as a whole. That's something I'm still trying to figure out.
Paintwise, I've gone for my usual somewhat subdued, realistic style. I want to portray these figures as lethal warrior-women and individuals, rather than the somewhat uniform 80's glam-punk queens the "official" paintjob makes them. I couldn't resist a nod to that classic style though, in the form of the bright yellow loincloths and shoulder pad. I'll carry that over across the entire gang.

 See you next time!

zaterdag 19 maart 2016

Escher progress

So, here's the progress on the first three Escher for today:

And their rear sides: 
Nearly there, the major things still to do is the leather chaps on the Heavy and Ganger, the hair on the Juve and small bits like buckles, gloves and such.  I had planned to do the chaps black, but now I'm also considering doing them in purple. We'll see which colour wins when I start painting tomorrow.

Maybe the bases will get another drybrush with pale grey, despite having considered them as "done" before. They seem just a bit to dark to properly show off the miniatures.

See you next time!

vrijdag 18 maart 2016

Escher painting

Painting has started on the Escher. I've been out of commission the last couple of days due to a case of the flu (luckily a mild and short one), but now I'm back and happily painting on with my first three lady-gangers:

A fair bit to do on these still. Skin and pants/tops are done, as is hair on two of the three. I just basecoated and washed the metals, that's drying as I type. Some of the pouches and packs are done.
But there's still a fair bit to do; their chaps/boots need painting, as do loincloths (I'm thinking of doing these in a single, unified colour, but I haven't decided which one yet), then there are all the little pouches, straps, doodads and bling to finish.
I'm painting the Escher in threes, it's faster than doing each individually, without feeling like batch painting and still giving them all plenty of individuality. The gang leader will get get my undividided attention.

I'm quite happy to finally own and work on these models. The Eschers have always been my favorite models of the Necromunda range, but I somehow always just missed actually getting them. Back when they were first released, I didn't have the spare money for a gang. Then, when I did have the money, no-one was actively playing Necromunda, so buying them always lost out over stuff I could actually use in the games we were playing at the time. They languished on the "one day" list like that, until that one dark, sad day when the went OOP. And Ebay/secondhand prices skyrocketed... But through luck, patience and a very generous friend, I now finally have my very own Escher gang. :D
For now, I'm going to take my time and enjoy painting these lovely figures. But after that, I fear the struggle will start to resist hunting down the rest of the Escher sculpt and that one, very expensive special character, Mad Donna...

Terrain is also in my thoughts, but that is for later. Who knows, maybe I can even entice some friends into trying a Necromunda campaign?

See you next time!

vrijdag 11 maart 2016

Fresh loot and mojo resurgent (hopefully).

Today a package arrived from the Campaigner Magazine
I participated in their survey last year, and I was one of the lucky ones to win some games. These arrived today.
Here's the package:

 Let's open it, first there is a nice note:
So, let's see what games are in there:

There's Tavern Fame, a "drinking" game (no actual booze required) about adventurers boasting about their exploits in order to gain the greatest audience. And Viewpont and Viewpoint Reflections, card games about, erm, viewpoints? (I've yet to open these and find out more, so sorry for the less-than-indepth review...) They're all quick half-hour max games, so they would be great fillers between longer games or when waiting for everyone to show up on RPG night. I'm looking forward to trying them out, Tavern Fame especially, its silly fun should suit my gaming buddies tastes just fine.
As a bonus, there was also an extended play edition of  Bubblewrap: the Poppening in the box, helping to keep the other games safe and warm during transit. ;D

If you don't know the Campaigner Magazine, I'd advise you check them out. They cover a diverse range of boardgames, wargames and rpgs, so there should be something of interest for everyone.

So, once again, thank you Campaigner Magazine!

Now, on to the mojo resurgent part:
The past week I've been happily stripping and cleaning those Escher models I got from Gunbird at the start of this week. I've been making Greenstuff casts of some of my spaceship bases, tu use as part of the underhive rubble I want to base these badass ladies with. This basing will be similar to that of the Pit Slave/Mechanicus work-gang minis I have; a mix of buckled metal decking, sand/rust and other debris.  I'm really enjoying working on this gang, and have even dug out the pit slaves again and have begun sketching ideas for Necromunda terrain. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going!

I've also been doing some repairs/fix-ups on conversions done by the previous owner of the Eschers.
In the lot is a Heavy converted to carry an old metal Chaos heavy bolter. She seemed a bit unbalanced gripping the gun mostly at the rear, so I replaced her left arm, to allow it to support the gun nearer to the muzzle. A juve had lost her pistol, so this got replaced with a stub gun from my (carefully hoarded) Necromunda weapons pack.
But the biggest job was on the Leader. She had a powersword from the 2nd edition 40K Space Marine weapon sprue. To me it looked far to thick and clunky to suit the Escher style. Plus it had broken off during cleaning, giving me the ideal opportunity to replace it with something more graceful. Digging through my bits box didn't provide a suitable replacement, so I felt I had to build a replacement myself. Out came the plasticard!

Here are the results:

Her old blade is on the cutting mat in front of her. Here's a better view of the new blade itself:
The power unit and pommel were donated by a Grey Knight power falchion that I deemed to large and overbearing for the Escher model. The rest is carefully cut, shaved and filed plasticard and plastic rod. I think it really looks the part!

See you next time!

woensdag 9 maart 2016

I found a new favorite stripper!

Right, get your minds out of the gutter, you lot! ;P
I mean the substance you use to remove paint from old miniatures...
Gunbird recommended I try Mr. Muscle kitchen cleaner, and I am very happy he did. Previously I've stripped my minis with "old school" methods: Thinner for metals and brake fluid for plastics, which to be honest are a total pain in the anterior region. Neither are pleasant substances to touch, smell, inhale or be around for extended periods of time. Especially brake fluid, which essentially requires hazmat gear. Bleh.
Mr. Muscle is meant for household use, so is a lot more benign, both chemically and financially (a flask of it costing a bit under €2 and, like brake fluid, can be used lots of times before it loses its stripping potency). Plus it does the job just as well, if not better than it's nasty predecessors.

Here's the proof:

Monday evening these miniatures were fully painted, some of them in (multiple) thick sprayed on layers. Now they are quite clean, except where the paint had been sealed in by superglue. Very satisfactory results!
And best of all, no nasty headache-inducing smells, no hazmat gear beyond some latex gloves as a standard precaution. They may even be unneccesary, but why break the habit?

Between this and our plans to try out This Is Not A Test, I've got Necromunda on the brain again. I have to finish painting the two Terminators I started first, and then I can get to work on the Eschers. Step one is basing and cleaning them (I spotted a few leftover moldlines when stripping them) and deciding on a colourscheme.
And maybe even build some terrain? If the enthusiasm holds out that is, I'm still dealing with the lack of focus and drive that started a few weeks ago. The nice thing a bout Necromunda terrain is that it can double as any post-apocalyptic industrial terrain.

What are my plans and ideas in this regard? A lot of the Necromunda terrain people build is heavily based on the cardboard terrain, and as a result is often quite on the neat and orderly side, to my mind. I want a lot more derelict, lived-in feel. Necro-terrain often seems just to clean and unmangled for something that is essentially a man-made cave system buried in the basement of a mindbogglingly huge skyscraper. There are some absolutely stunning sets of terrain out there though, that very much get the derelict style very, very  right.
I also want to try and incorporate some of the odd flora and fauna that is part of the Necromunda mythos. So I'll be reading all the Necromunda stories and books I can for inspiration. Also, I'd like to take some inspiration from things like the Borderlands PC games and Mad Max. That scrapheap/jury-rigged aesthetic should fit Necromunda just fine.
 I'm also playing a bit of Tomb Raider (the 2013 reboot) lately, and I like the way it uses verticality as well as ledges and gaps to give you interesting routes and get a lot of play out of their maps. I hope to incorporate this into my terrain as well. Plus the way ancient ruins and modern (semi-)derelict building and shanties are mashed together is just so, so right for 'Munda...

See you next time!

maandag 7 maart 2016

So, what have I been up to.

Wow, nearly a month since my last post?
I've not don much really, the hobby drive (and drive in general) has remained at an ebb.
I've been painting two terminators in fits and starts. Just a single colour based, washed and highlighted at a time. Start painting when I feel like it, quit when the enthusiasm fades again lest it becomes a chore. Which means the going is slow, but at least there is some progress.

I've also completely cleaned up/purged of old crap and rearranged my hobby room. It had gotten more of a storage room/episode of Hoarders waiting to happen, so I'm glad I tackled that!\
As part of that project, I've converted one of the tables into a standing desk, just to see how that works out for me, as I'm getting tired of being sat on my ass so much. Besides the last months that table didn't get used for hobbying, it mainly served as a mess-magnet.

Today I helped Gunbird clear out his old garage and as a thank-you he gave me his old Escher Necromunda gang! Which fulfills a long held wish of mine. I always wanted an Escher gang, but kept putting it off, as other purchases got priority. Right until they were suddenly OOP...
So, thank you very much! :D
They're currently sitting in the stripper-bath (No, not like that, get your minds out of the gutter!) and in the meanwhile I'm looking for inspiration for how to paint them. I don't exactly want to go GW mid-90s bright with them, but I do want nod towards their punk-stylings. We'll just have to see what I end up with.

See you next time!