Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Supplies Secured

It's been a long time coming, but my budget finally allowed me to shore up my increasingly scrappy paint collection. I just need some cheap grey hobby acrylic to use as primer and I'm all set.
I chose this set as I prefer dropper bottles, it comes with some brushes, I love the washes, and it was relatively cheap as bundles go. Onward!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Vornid Support

It's been a long while again, real life etc. etc. On to the good stuff: New Vornid models from Khurasan miniatures, the very best miniatures for weirdness in 15mm scale!

Vornid Walker


Together with Vornids
Mainly very easy to paint, although the walker has a lot of smooth surfaces, so took a while. I plan to stick some clump foliage on top, but didn't want to confuse the product shot. These minis round out the the Vornids very nicely as an alien or postnuclear force.
As a side not, I used my dried out coffee grounds as basing material again... It's a winner.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Prang

Here are the Prang from that I tried using coffee grounds as basing material on last post. I worked the white armour up from grey, giving them a fair bit of depth... Although it doesn't show too well in these phone snaps. I think they look better from the back, and am planning to add some more leathery brown to a couple of them. 

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 5 September 2014

The 6 Month Mountain Reduction & Painting Challenge

I recently agreed to take part in the 6 month mountain reduction and painting challenge set by Chris, from Chris' miniature woes blog.
As I'm sure most readers know, Mountain in this case is nerd slang meaning pile of unpainted miniatures... Or "lead mountain" although that term is less than accurate in modern times.

There are a couple of caveats for me.. The main one being that my "mountain" is mostly back in Sydney awaiting sea-freight. It's unlikely I'll see it until next year. 
Do not fear though, I still have at least a hill of unpainted figures with me, not to mention an entire Vampire-level pledge of Reaper plastics still in the box. I'm a little bit on the fence about what to do with that lot though. Do I break scale? I fear what might happen.

So in the spirit of the challenge my first post is here (and on instagram), with a bold experiment in frugality and hobby science.

Coffee basing paste

I have used my old coffee grounds as ground cover in the past with reasonable success, although I just sprinkled it over wet PVA glue at the time.
As I have run out of texture gel for basing my figures and am trying to be frugal, I splurged £2 on a small bottle of glue from the newsagent and mixed it undiluted with dry coffee grounds until it became a thick paste. I enjoy good quality hobby products as much as the next nerd, but I love finding ways to build things for free, or in this case, out of literal garbage.

I applied it to the bases of some Space Templars and Prang that I've been keen to paint. Lovely figures sculpted by the talented Eli Arndt, and sold by ... But with quite thick cast bases. How will it work? Will I get some paint on a mini before Mik? Only time will tell.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

5 Parsecs- Boarded!

After the sad death of Dash and Jella's departure, the crew of the Rampart set about finding some new members. Jann Silman put them in touch with some old explorer associates of his. "Kilo", an ex-military war-bot bounty hunter and "Muscleman" a hulker adventurer with a background in enforcement. They arranged to meet on board the Rampart for a meet up and interview.

They are interrupted by 5 UNITY enforcers led by a power armoured special agent... Havok ensues. This was an enemy assault scenario. The enforcers had to attack the engineering computer (represented by a computer console model from Khurasan) to win.

The photo shows the use of "Fiery Dragon Starship tiles"I bought ages ago. There's a lot to like about the set, which I think was relatively inexpensive. I came up with some simple rules for opening doors and gridded movement:

  • Opening a door takes the place of either moving or firing.
  • 1 square= 1", moves may be made in any direction, but a figure may not make 2 consecutive diagonal moves.
  • If a crew member can get to a security station, they can lock all the doors. Locked doors will need to be broken in following the standard FiveCore door rules.

"Kilo" (By Thescene)
The fight went well. Once again, Toros' military assault carbine's 3 shock dice of SUPPRESSIVE FIRRRE!!! made it very difficult for the UNITY enforcers to get into the main hold. As a figure that has fired on its previous turn cannot use guard fire, this meant that careful repositioning of Kilo and Toros was required to keep the corridor covered. A scurry turn got the power armoured agent into a good position eventually, shrugging off 2 shots thanks to his protective suit, but Muscleman managed to charge him and smash him with his power claw. Mackie finished the battle with a dramatic charge with her brutal melee weapon (a big wrench) and sent the last enforcer flying!

When the smoke cleared, only Muscleman was injured. He sustained a wound that would force him to miss 6 turns. I decided to use my medkit to avoid this. A tricky decision, as I was saving it to prevent a death... But on the Fringe, 6 turns is a very long time. Muscleman lives up to his name, so I think it's better to have him around kicking heads than missing so many missions.
A sterling debut from two deadly new crew members. Mackie is now the only human on board, amongst an ever increasing number of dangerous alien and robot killers! With the Vespulids and UNITY now as enemies, it was time to get off Imhotep! 

"Muscleman" (By GZG, converted)
The starship tiles were interesting. I think the layout was a little dull, but it still threw up a lot of interesting choices thanks to the Scurry and Firefight turns that came up when they did.

If I use the tiles again for a scenario like this, I think random deployment (of both sides!) would better represent the chaos of a surprise hostile boarding. I'm thinking of the Firefly episode when the bounty hunter infiltrated the ship at night and the crew were all over the place.

I've been thinking about coming up with a whole "space voyage" campaign turn that replaces a normal turn whenever you wish to change planets.

As it stands, leaving the planet (and getting the chance to elude enemies) is a simple choice that has no down-side. I'm thinking of a simple campaign turn with "space flight" tasks instead of planet-side ones, and a small chance to be boarded or otherwise get into trouble.

Finally, as requested, here is a photo of my station modules split apart and without all the clutter. 

By revolving them and obeying the "no double walls" rule, a huge variety of spaces can be had in a jiffy. 

The two lower modules were afterthoughts. The original plan was to only use 6 pieces (of 3 designs) to simulate cyberpunk office layouts. The empty walls were actually conceived as plate glass windows. 

I've been trying to decide wether to try my hand at laser etched MDF, or sculpted pieces in resin for a fancier batch. I'm leaning toward MDF, as I think I could get some great results with the use of acrylic pieces in the windows. 
I find MDF is extremely difficult to paint however, which is the only thing giving me pause. When I built my Mad Mecha Guy city buildings, spray paint just bounced right off. I had to hand-undercoat each one with decoupage primer in the end, which took ages and I don't want to do ever again.