Thursday, December 5, 2013

Updates with Painting

So I've been lazy lately.  You can say it was the holidays and lots of other things popped up that kept me from painting and doing lots of other hobby related things, but the truth of the matter is that I just couldn't be bothered to get the paints out and start in on some miniatures.  So thankfully last night was another gaming night and I just happened to bring my carrying case along with me. It felt strange but comfortable to get the paints out and start applying brush to model.

So mostly this is going to just be an update on which models I've been concentrating on and how far along they are, so here's models...

First up is Krueger the Stormlord.  I had him mostly done for a bit of time now, but I wanted to do the same highlighting I did to Morvahnnas cloak to his.  So it came out really watery across his back which I really liked.

Next up are some more Circle minis. My first crack at the Tharn Bloodweavers.  I was originally going to go with a more brown color scheme like I did with the Bloodtrackers, but I had the green on my palette already from working on Kruegers cloak so I went with it.  So far I'm liking how its looking.  Im going to have to go back over the skin with some of the new flesh paints I picked up. I think a pale skin with the green highlighted on the skirt and top will look cool. Especially with dark brown hair and mask.  Then there is my Woldwatcher.  I really like this model and I should probably pick up another one.  I followed one of the tutorials for making the green runes glow from all over his body.  Now I just need to go back over and clean up some of my work and he should be ready to go.  I realized how bad that mold line was after I started painting him and now I'm going to leave it.  I was debating trying to find a way to make it look like two pieces of stone that got smashed together but that might be a project down the road a few decades.

Then we have Morghul, Kreoss and Ryan.  I think I used a bit too dark a red on Morghul so far. I might go back over him and make it highlight up a bit more.  Kreoss has the opposite effect. Since he was primed white the red is coming out almost pink on parts of him.  So I might have to wash this a few times to get the red to darken to a more magenta.  Ryan is going to take some figuring out.  Im not sure if I want to do like their pictures and paint every buckle on their outfit, but I keep really like their artwork so it might end up happening that way. I just want to finish one of the Black 13th so I'll have something to go on for the other two.

 Finally we have Katherine Laddermore.  I've always liked this model and I wish I used her more when I actually got to play.  Maybe I will now when she is painted.  I'm a huge fan of the Cygnar blue color.  This will be my first time using the highlight color for blue.  After my experiments with the green on my Circle figures I think I'm finally comfortable enough to do it on the blues.

So that's what I worked on last night.  Hopefully I'll be able to do more weekly and post them.  Maybe even finish another battle box and talk my gaming group into Wargame Wednesdays.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Painting On The Go

Lately I've been painting mostly at my two gaming nights.  I carry my Army Transport about half full of trays of various miniatures I want to paint. I have the foam tray for paint pots they made which is full of my P3 paints. I also carry my water cup and the folded paper towels I use as well as my makeshift wet palette as a to-go painting surface. My brushes take the brunt of carrying everything this way as they are just laid down between the rows of paint pots.  I've looked at various ways to carry my brushes in hopes of not damaging them as much as just laying them on the foam is doing. I've seen a couple of paint brush boxes with foam to hold your brushes up and away from each other. I may go with a homemade variant of that solution. Then I could modify it to carry other tools along with the paint brushes;glue, files and my pin vise. That way its not just a paint on the go box but a modeling on the go box. What does everyone else use? Do you model or paint on the go or only do either at your home station?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Painting Update

Been working on a variety of miniatures lately.

Firefly Light Warjack                 
Sword KnightSword Knight back

Kaya the WildbourneTharn Bloodtracker

I've also been working on a Khadoran Warjack and Warcaster.


 Kommander Sorcha

Also a couple oldie but goodies, my first completed Warcaster and first completed unit.
Commander Coleman Stryker
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages

I just bought a couple of new brushes, as I was brutal to my last couple, and am attempting to take better care of these. I also went back to using my wet palette as that seems to be the best way to thin out the paint and make clean up the easiest. I will also be going back through and taking pictures of models I had completed before I started documenting my progress.  Not that there is a terrible lot to that category yet, but that's why I'm broadcasting this.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Original Hardcore Army

Once upon a Gen Con, I took part in the first Hardcore tournament. I hadn't been home for very long and I hadn't been playing Warmachine very much recently. But that tournament sounded like the kind of fun I wanted to have. Only thing was you needed a fully painted army to participate. So I made an army list and started on my mission to get them fully painted.
I painted all the time. After work, on weekends, I could usually be found at my desk painting away. Unfortunately I was a perfectionist and a beginner painter. So I would constantly second guess myself or be afraid to experiment with just putting paint on the model and seeing what it looked like. Needless to say this made my painting take a much longer time then it should have.
Gen Con kept getting closer and I kept painting. Finally finishing the painting the night before I left. I was down in my parking lot spraying matte finish over them when I should have been sleeping. But I was able to take my Hardcore army to Gen Con and play in the first Hardcore tournament.  Turns out I really should have practiced more.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Painting

Lately I've been taking my miniature case with me to RPG nights and getting some painting in while we play. It has actually helped me pay attention to the game more as I'm less likely to be surfing the internet on my iPad and listening is much easier when I'm not self sabotaging myself with the internet. So as I've been going I've been getting faster and faster at painting. Not necessarily finishing multiple models a night. But I have been actually finishing models and that feels pretty fantastic.  I also have a large supply to draw from with both the Reaper Bones kickstarters worth of miniatures and my own armies worth of Warmachine and Hordes.

So without further ado, my painted models from the last month or so.
Kruger the Stormlord
More Kruger the Stormlord

She needs a bit more work and a better picture.
Morvhanna The Autumnblade

There are a few more that I will endeavor to get pictures of. I've finished some more but haven't taken pictures of yet. So hopefully you'll have some more pictures incoming.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gaming and Other Topics

Lately I've been doing a lot more reading of RPG books then actual playing of RPGs.  I've fallen in love with Dungeon World and am secretly making plans to get my group to try it out one night when the regular game falls through again.  I've been following its G+ Community and Subreddit.  I read through the book and the guide that was written up to help wrap your head around the game and its paradigm.  I can see the fantastic merits to this game, why can't everyone else?

Listening to podcasts about various games makes me want to jump up and play those various games.  Currently in the podcast rotation I have Smiling Jack's Bar and Grill, a Savage Worlds show, Roleplay DNA, a more all encompassing rpg show, The Neo-Anarchist Podcast, a show from the future about the history of Shadowrun.  I've also been listening to the Order 66 Podcast about the new Star Wars:Edge of the Empire game and Narrative Control, which covers gaming and larger picture ideas.

So just from those I have Savage Worlds, Star Wars, Shadowrun, Fate Core, Cortex Plus and a smattering of other games on my mind. I really need to organize my time better so I could possibly get some of these games in online on weekends.

Otherwise I haven't been doing much else with my hobbies. I've been slowly painting through my Warmachine and Hordes armies. I might even have finished a whole model soon, so be on the lookout for pictures.  I haven't cast any plaster in a month or so. My last batch leaked all over the board and I need to scrape that clean in order to cast any more.  I do still have some Merlin's Magic left so I need to use that up.  I haven't even started priming or painting the Bones Kickstarter yet. If I can get on the painting band wagon and do that more often then one gaming night a week I might be able to make progress into that batch.

I did make some progress in recording some test audio for a podcast. It came out pretty good. Now to settle down on one topic and write out some show outlines.

Monday, July 8, 2013

More Discussion on Pen and Paper Gaming

In addition to the two games I talked about last week, I've also been enamored with Fate Core.  Since I just got my hardback copy of the book I've slowly been reading back through the rules to remind myself how it plays.  Since I was in on the kickstarter they've been putting out various versions of the rules, getting feedback, fixing things, putting out another draft, more testing and feedback and finally releasing the final product.  Since a couple of things changed through the various versions I've read I'm getting acquainted with the final version of everything and how to plan out a game I'd like to run.

One of the awesome things about Fate Core is that it can cover a huge spectrum of game types and settings. The number of dials in the rules that you can tweak to make your game more or less like one thing and bring it to where you want them to be is enormous.  One of the hard things about such a setting is the number of dials that you can adjust.  The Fate Core G+ community is a fantastic resource especially for this issue.  Reading through the posts from people having the same mind block on the enormity that you can cover and not knowing where to start lets me realize I wasn't alone in my thoughts.  Thankfully the groups is very helpful in trying to help figure out where you want your game to go and how you want it to get there.

In addition to building up your own setting, there were a number of settings that the kickstarter put into motion.  They will be coming out later this year in a couple of compendium books.  Two of the settings that I am really interested in are Wild Blue and Camelot TRIGGER.  Wild Blue is set on another world where settlers have moved to another new continent and settled it.  It has an american western feel, but the land is much different.  There are trees that get lighter as they age which they then float into the sky.  There is the metal cobalt which lends is properties to the weapons and structures of the setting.  Also each of the PC's will have some kind of power. All powers do have a drawback though.  You might be able to fly, but only in sunlight.  Or you can tell if someone is telling the truth but you can never speak a lie.  They might not even be related. You can shoot force bolts from your hand but you can't eat solid food.  Your group will play as Wardens of the Queen protecting the lands from pirates, the Others and all manner of banditry.  I am greatly looking forward to this setting.  Camelot TRIGGER is a giant mecha setting with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round.  It takes place in the Sol System with each planet having knights and politics of its own. Players will mostly likely be knights of various stripes with the big bad of the setting being MerGN-A the AI that is trying to destroy all of humanity. I'm a fan of what I've read on the setting so far and giant mecha has a special place in my heart.

So in other news, I have a question for anyone reading this blog.  I have thoughts on starting a gaming podcast and I would like to know what people would be most interested in listening to.  Ideas that I've been kicking around include; Actual play of various games and one shots, Discussion of various rules sets, Discussion on various settings, Some kind of review where it would be on initial reading of the rules and then after a playthrough.  If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions I would love to hear about it, either on this blog in the comments or on G+.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pen and Paper Gaming

So lately I've been reading RPGs that are a bit off from the normal of what I'd read.  Warning, wall of text incoming as I talk about them.

Lately it's been Dungeon World.  I had never heard of Apocalypse World before and looking back it's probably because it doesn't advertise, except through word of mouth, at least not in the usual areas of the internet I look for new RPGs to follow.  Someone linked to their Kickstarter and the initial pitch intrigued me enough to through in my support for the finished PDF.  The kickstarter ended and I got the link to download Dungeon World PDF.  I tried reading it a couple of times but it never really grabbed me.  Eventually I was reading a post on the Fate Core G+ community and someone referenced something from Dungeon World that sounded really cool.  I can't remember the exact details but it stuck in my head and I remembered I had the PDFs so I dug them out and read through the book.  I'm not going to lie, it takes a couple of tries at wrapping your mind around how Dungeon World works.  It is a very narrative game, actually its almost entirely narrative.  When you, as the GM, describe a scene, say one of combat with some kobolds, as soon as you finish describing the scene you look to the players and ask "What do you do?". You don't stop telling the story to set up the map and miniatures, you just start asking what they do, and they respond.  I know, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this concept as well. So instead of having powers or charms or abilities, you have moves. Depending on your class you'll have moves for your class, but then everyone will also have basic moves.  They go something along the lines of When you attack an enemy in melee roll +STR. Then its roll your 2d6 and check what you've done.  You have stats that give you bonuses that you'll add when appropriate. Most of the time if you roll 10+ you succeed without problems. For the 7-9 you might succeed but you'll have complications. On a 6- you fail, but you get XP. The thing that really turned on the light bulb for me was the part about just describing how you attack can change how your attack works. If I say that I'm going to hide behind a pillar while the kobolds shoot arrows at me, I dont have to worry about armor from the pillar. I said I'm standing behind it, case closed. If I try to pop out now though, now I'll have a hail of arrows to contend with.  Once you read it and grok how everything works it really opens your eyes to roleplaying in a whole new light.  I could go on about it but really just read the rules and you'll see.  They're free online at Dungeon World on Github.

The other game I've been reading a lot of lately is Star Wars:Edge of the Empire.  I know what you're thinking, aren't you already playing in a WEG Star Wars game? Why yes, yes I am. I was intrigued by EotE though and its weird dice mechanics.  So with Edge you have custom dice which have specific purposes. When you roll, you build a pool, starting with your ability dice, which are a measure of innate skill from attributes and skills. Then you add in difficulty dice, which are an inherent measure of the difficulty of the task.  With those basics you roll and check for the symbols, positive dice will have Advantage and Success markings while the difficulty dice will have Threat and Failure symbols. Threat and Advantage cancel each other out and Success and Failure do the same.  You now have a two axis plot of how you're action was accomplished.  You can succeed but have Threat cause issues and you can fail but Advantages will help you out.  Reading through the beginner box set has a great production value and a very concise and easy to understand intro to their ruleset.  I am greatly looking forward to a chance to play this game.

So those are the games I've been reading up a bit on lately.  There have been others but I'll wait until I've read more of them to talk about them here.  If you have any comments or questions let me know.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Addendum to Pinning

Here are some of the pictures of the pinning I did this weekend.
Here is my Stormsmith in progress. I just need to clip down the pin a little more to get everything together on him.  Should stay together after this.

 Here is my Blackclad Wayfarer.  His left arm was jointed at the elbow and had to support the whole weight of the axe. Now that its pinned he should be able to hold onto to it.
 Here is my Tharn Ravager Shaman.  His joint at the shoulder was a huge pain because not only were they flat surfaces to hold together but there was no ball and socket to line them up properly.  This pin should keep his arm from falling off in a strong breeze.
And finally General Adept Nemo. His extended arm had a nice joint at the elbow and a socket in the gauntlet to fit the arm into, unfortunately the whole weight of the arm and weapon were too much to handle and it would keep getting knocked off.  When I drilled out the forearm I kept losing my line I was drilling on and ended up drilling out of his wrist a couple of times.  Finally got that lined up and I should be able to cover the holes in his wrist with paint.

Pinning Isn't That Tough

Being a miniature gamer with cats is an always interesting scenario.  After building my gaming table I would set all of my armies out across the table to get a good of how much I still have to paint and how much I still had to prime.  It was a great visual of how bad at getting to painting I've been....since time began.
As you can see I really had a lot of work ahead of me.  I've finished all the priming that needs to be done finally and started work on painting.  You can see some of the work back a few posts.  The only downside to this scenario is that when I would leave my miniatures on the table in such a fashion my cats would walk across the table top.  Now you would think cats being the graceful creatures they are would be able to step between and around this little miniatures.  Unfortunately those are not my cats.  I would constantly hear them being knocked over or around as the cats took refuge on the table top away from the dogs.  This in turn led me to constantly be gluing certain models back together.  It was the same group for the most part.  Certain models had joints that just didn't have a lot of surface to make the glue hold tightly.  This led me to finally grab my pin vice and attempt to pin some models together.

Now I have had my pin vice for almost a decade and have never attempted to pin a model.  I've had lots that I've set aside and not finished assembling because I've looked at the arm joints and just not wanted to deal with the pain of trying to get them to glue together.  So after having enough this weekend I grabbed one of the repeat offenders and went to town on his shoulder.  I always thought I would need to use my Dremel to actually drill enough into a model to get a good hold with a pin.  Not so, after a minute or two of hand drilling I had a workable hole that I could fit my paperclip pin into and glue down.  Wow, that was an easy step.  Now to try and line up the arm and make this work.  
I forgot to take some pictures of the joints while actually working on those so I apologize this won't be a more visual post.  Here is the boat-load of models that need a little pinning to stay together.  Getting the pin joint to line up was a bit trickier but most of the models also lent themselves well to giving me a good idea/making a good guess.  All in all I had about 5 models that I got pinned this weekend.  One of the ones I was extremely proud of was a Stormblade whose glaive was broken off right above his hands so that it was a smooth break between the glaive blade and the haft.  Pinning that joint made the model look like it was never broken.  I'm going to try and get some pictures of the individual models that I've pinned and point out the joints.

 Here is the main offender, Ninja.

And her accomplice Echo.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finally got a picture of my costume from Ring Game.  It was taken by the awesome Jack Barker.  You can see more the pictures from this game over at Ring Game.  The gauntlets lasted a lot better then I thought they would during the game, and the costume kept most of the brambles and bugs away from me.  Now to get into shape for the fall war.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ring Game Costume

I took a picture of my gauntlets I finished last night. I'll try and get some pictures up of the full costume this weekend.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Current Projects

So after my last update I went and ordered a 5lb bag of Merlins Magic.  I then started casting according to the instructions and filled all four of my molds and filled an entire tray in the dehydrator.  With my next batch I tried to adjust the ratio of plaster to water to try and fill more molds.  I thought I was erring on the side of too much water, but then I found that I was adding too much plaster that wasn't getting mixed in completely and leaving quite a bit in the mixing cup that was far too thick to pour into the molds.  Adjusting some more I think I found the right ratio and that was that.  I decided to up my game a little and make a vibrating table to really make my blocks solid.  After looking at a few stores I found a neck and back massager at the local Walgreens and mounted it to my table and set to work on another batch. I thought I had done something wrong when I went to scrape the molds and I had almost nothing but a layer of water across the top.  Letting my brain catch up to me I realized that this meant all the plaster had settled into the molds instead of riding along top.  So letting the molds dry so I could remove the pieces also showed me that they now dry incredibly fast compared to before the vibrating table.  So all in all I'm even more happy going with the Merlins Magic and building the vibrating table. Now I just need to settle on a project to move towards.

In other projects, Ring Game is this weekend.  Ring Game is a Lord of the Rings Live Action Strategy Game.  While we do dress up, its not as role play-y as LARPing. This spring I'm playing a Nazghul. I made my costume this weekend, I went with the dark rider type costume from the movies.  Now if only I was in better shape to be sprinting around the park.  I'll be working on the gauntlets this week.  I will try to post pictures of those when I complete them.

I also received my Reaper Bones Kickstarter miniatures package.  I traded in the Sophie model for the carrying case.  I can fit around 3/4 of the miniatures in the carrying case.  I think I'm going to use the extra slots for paints and carry that around with me to get some more painting done.  Since most of miniatures will be immediately useful in our DnD 4E game I am going to focus on those to begin with.

Ninja wanted to help unpack.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Adventures in Plaster

So the other day I had the tremendous urge to create something. Painting just didn't seem to feed the urge and I didn't have anything papercrafty printed and ready. So I turned to the other other hobby I have. I cast some plaster blocks.  Now my experience with Hirst Arts molds has been on going since I picked up my first one at GenCon in 2006. I've posted pictures of the octagon tower I built with that one here on the blog. Well the bug had bit me and I ordered a few more molds and cast some blocks and then promptly got distracted by something shiny. I had built myself a work table and had some modeling plaster I had picked up at the gaming store but I couldn't figure out another project to work towards. Sure the website had all sorts of projects, but I would just end up looking through the catalog and not getting any ideas to stick.  Now this latest bug has bit and getting the supplies out has shown me why I had stopped last time.  The plaster I've been using, lightweight hydrocal, has a different mixing ratio than the previous plaster I had been using. So my last couple of casts had come out mostly half-assed. I thought it was something I was doing wrong and it turned out to be true. I had been mixing it wrong. Well I still had my sample package of Merlin's Magic. The one that they use and talk up quite a bit on the Hirst Arts website. So tonight I cast using the Merlins, and wow was it a different experience. The blocks filled so neatly and scraped so easily. Now I'm looking up where to order some more to get back into a regular casting habit. So now we can add plaster terrain building to my current obsessions. I'll post pictures as soon as I finish drying the blocks I cast.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Missed One

So in posting my paper craft cubee figures the other day, I forgot I had one more to show.  He isn't a cubee but he is paper craft and pretty awesome. I give you Claptrap, or his proper name CL4P-TP.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


So here are the cubee's that I've been working on.  I got the patterns from Cubeecraft.  I'm a fan of these, they are incredibly easy to cut out and fit together.  You definitely learn how to cut them out better and fit the tabs easier as you do more of them.  I also made Spiderman and dark suit Spiderman, but my girlfriend took them to live at her work. 

Oh and for those wondering, from left to right we have: Spencer the Bionic Commando from Rearmed, Earthworm Jim and Snot, Iron Man and finally Hellboy.