Sunday, 16 December 2012

Hexon II Terrain board

Some of my customized Hexon tiles
Last year before I left the UK, I bought a set of Hexon II terrain system from Kallistra.
This is an injection moulded plastic product that allows you to model a sturdy layout that can be stacked in pieces for storage.

The raw tiles
I will admit that the storage aspect was what originally drew me to this product, as someone who is usually very pressed for space. As the underside of the tiles are hollow, it is also possible to model detail onto the tiles that will be protected while stored.
The second interesting feature is that as the layout is composed of hexes, forests or other rough terrain can be very easily delineated.

Hexes with trees are considered woods
I bought the set unflocked to allow me maximum modeling potential, but to be honest it took a really long time to get these finished. If you only want grassy hexes, I would recommend the pre-flocked variety.
The tiles come with clips to keep them together, but I found that using my neoprene pin-board as a base meant I did not need them. By bizarre coincidence, it is also the exact right size to accomodate a 4x2 tile layout.

Speaking of layouts, because of their hexagonal nature, it is possible to arrange them in a hexagonal pattern instead of the usual square or rectangle. I think this has some tremendous possibilities, such as designating the six outermost hexes as deployment or reinforcement zones that can be easily randomized with a simple d6 roll!

An interesting alternative layout
Now that I have gone to all this trouble, I'm going to play a few games on it to see how useful they turn out to be.
I originally painted them all in a grey color with the intention of using them as a cityscape... But they just didn't look right. After adding some browns and grass they really came alive, so I think for an urban layout I will be better off making some cork tile squares with roads built in.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Lose it out here...

...And you're in a world of hurt!
Here are my old trees ripped off their CD bases and glued to some new cork tile outcrops. This allows me to position them within a hex (or forest area if not using my Kallistra system) or to place as individual terrain pieces.

I like how they look with miniatures as seen here, and will probably make some more in future, as I have plenty of aquarium plants left and cork tile is relatively inexpensive.
I'd like to make some kind of low scrub to go with these, perhaps reindeer moss is the best way to go.

The troops pictured are my remaining Khurasan Exterminators. I now have them all painted up, which took over a year - It's nice to have them completed.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Rebel Minis Titan Scouts

I got these from Rebel Minis recently, and while I really liked the sculpts in general (especially the dual pistols!) I wasn't so keen on them all sporting the "bald with goggles" look.
The one on the far right get of putty hairpiece, and the guy on the far left got a GZG head swap.
I painted them up as mercs or bounty hunters, so tried to make them look as different as possible without resorting to bright colors.

I'm very pleased with these figures and I think they will get a lot of use on the tabletop.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Monkey Boys

Highlander studios does some great 15mm minis. Some of which are for 5150... And some of those are these "Zhu Zhu's" or monkey-boys. These minis make a terrific little skirmish squad and have really grown on me.

"Laugh while you can, monkey boy!"

I finished these recently, after having them half-painted for a long time... A bad habit of mine. These minis are deceptively complex sculpts, so once I got past the base color stage, I put them aside until I had time to highlight all the various folds and bits.

The uniforms are Vallejo Khaki, with Citadel Charadon Granite gear. The guns are simple boltgun metal with an earthshade wash.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Liebster Award

It's that time again, when Blog awards make the rounds, helping to promote fellow bloggers and their efforts.
The very talented Jay, from Jay's Miniature Enterprises has nominated me for a Liebster Award. Having a look at what this means, I am bound to link back to his blog (which is excellent) and then to 5 other quality blogs that I think need to get more eyeballs on them, as they have less than 200 followers.

Thanks Jay!

Now... Technically this makes TSS ineligible, as I just checked and have 350 followers, but I'm not going to allow that to stop me from recommending some fine blogs all the same! I haven't checked the number of followers they have, as by this point I don't think it matters... I've gone rogue here after all.

These are just blogs that I think you will enjoy if you read TSS, and it hasn't hurt that they are all frequent commenters. Blogging is a great way to make friends around the world if you cant get around a game table!

Fjodin posts regularly (much more regularly than me!) and always has a good mix of bright and crisp painted figures and clever terrain ideas. He's a huge fan of Gruntz and is always coming up with something cool!

Javier at War
Blacksmith games predominantly in smaller scales, and is always trying out new game ideas.. Many of them solo. His most interesting games lately have been Two Hour Wargames reaction system adapted to space combat... In particular, the Kilrathi wars of the Wing Commander PC games. Brilliant!

Solo Nexus
JF is a legend amongst solo gamers. His solo adaptation of Heroclix has entertained many, not just for it's usefulness but it's also at times a hilarious read! A huge resource for the solo gamer, I'm sure you will find something useful if you have a look around.

Mik's minis
The most eclectic blog on this list. Mik covers mini gaming, Lego, board gaming, cooking, popular culture, comic books, gardening and even has regular guest spots. Through this site and by listening to the excellent podcast (Minions of the monster master) his group puts out, I have learned so much in the last 2 years, and really got back to my geeky roots.

Lead Addict
A great painter, gamer and blogger. Lead Addict has a broad range of interests covering several different scales and genres. He is lucky enough to have a very active gaming group (the basement generals) and has a lot of interesting thoughts about the hobby.

But seriously folks, this is just a smattering. If you have a click around my "Blog Buddies" list over on the lower right of the page, you can't go wrong... It's all good!

Thank you once again Jay, it's always great to hear from you, and may you continue surprising and delighting us as we model our way through the years!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Small Scale Terrain

I have a huge bunch of stuff to paint for Khurasan and difficult circumstances at home, but in between all this I put my efforts into small bits of scenery to enhance my games.

First off, here are some zombies coming out of body bags from TheScene! I am using these as Zombie spawn points or destruction objective markers.
I didn't want to paint them black, as I have so many dark models and scenery pieces, so I went with gunship green and gave them a very harsh highlight pass to try to make them look shiny.
The hatch is from GZG and is basically an objective, but could be used in countless ways.

Here are some GZG doors mounted on plastic card bases, with cork tile backing. They have been built to place up against a flat wall, or on the board edge to represent an entry point. They will be useful as objectives themselves, or to make a building out of any other solid mass scenery.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Khurasan Zombies... Tutorial!

I recently painted up the first 8 of my Khurasan miniatures zombies. These are really nice, animated looking zombies in modern clothes. The clothing is nondescript enough that you could use them for pretty much any period without trouble.
In a break from tradition, I remembered to take some pictures as I worked this time, as I was trying a new method of painting again. This was something of an experiment, but I'm happy with the (very fast) results.

Step 1
I used some very cheap light grey hobby acrylic to undercoat these minis. I more commonly use black as an undercoat, and I think that would work well for these figures, but I wanted to try a faster wash based method.

Step 2
Block colors
 I painted on all the color areas at once. The key thing here is Citadel Rotting Flesh for the zombie skin. They don't look like much at this stage. Also note that I used quite light colors in general.

Step 3
I hit them all over with Reikland Fleshshade. Ogryn flesh wash would work well also, but I was saving that for the gore areas. Up to this point I'd spent about 2 hours. I left them overnight for the washes to dry properly.

Step 4
I went back and highlighted the zombies with the original colors, then a second highlight with a little bone color mixed in to lighten them. The eyes got a white dot and when dry, a few areas were pin washed with various colors to define edges of clothes and eye sockets. I washed the bases with Nuln oil, then drybrushed it up to the undercoat color before adding some tufts. All in all, this took about another hour and a half.

There were 20 different zombies in the bag, so I still have 12 to go. I think I'll get another batch to the wash stage tonight as I'm too tired for "proper" painting... Although I might prep some survivors. 

I am very impressed with these zombie sculpts... I'd say they are about the best on the market for 15mm at the moment. Now I'll have to strip my old Zeds to match the flesh tone. Grrr.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

GZG ravagers

I recently completed these guys from GZG. They complete my little set of criminal gangers, useful as enemies for a variety of forces. Some great poses and character in these versatile minis.
The color palette is limited to tie them together, and they didn't take long to finish using some simple wash and highlight techniques.

The new criminal element

Here they are with the ones I already have painted.

The complete gang

I still haven't had the time for a game as things are a bit difficult at home right now, but that's the way it goes.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

City Ruins Board

As promised, here are some photos of my city ruins models on some of my customized Kallistra Hexon terrain.
Before I came the the UK, I wanted to order a set but the postage was prohibitive. So when I was preparing to return to Australia, I made sure I got an order in before I left.
I'm glad I did, as the hexes are very well made and a single set has enough tiles for me to make another set in a different shade, plus a few left over for special pieces

8 sections fit on my pin-board

...And stack neatly away.

A view of the ruins on the board

Crusties pick their way through

Khurasan furniture adds detail

my scratch-build cork tile junkpiles

I plan to make some inserts out of my remaining cork tile to fit in the half-hex gaps at the short ends of the board. It really is great stuff!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Gesso and undercoating

I got one of these

Azeal asked in yesterday's comments about Gesso and my use of it. Funny Story.

There is a lot of talk on the interwebs about using Gesso to prime a miniature, both in the "inexpensive alternative" and "superior surface" camps. I bought this tub of Gesso when I was in Oxford Art Supplies in Sydney, buying corrugated paper. I was very sad to see the shop was closing, as it was my go-to art supply shop when I was in Art school and I'd been visiting it for years. They stocked 'proper' art supplies, not just brushes and pretties.
So this was on special, and I figured why not? I used it to prime my Crusty Walkers and a few other things. Here is my list of pros and cons.

  • It shrinks when drying so usually isn't too rough on the detail if you're careful
  • Gives a nice toothy finish
  • Is comparatively cheaper than model paint
  • You have to mix it with a bit of water to get it to flow, as it's very goopy
  • It takes quite a long time to dry naturally
  • You're still brushing it on
Am I a Gesso convert? Not really, I'm mainly using it now because I have a big pot of it. I used this for my recent scenery only because my $3.50 can of black spray paint ran out.

In another shocking twist, I don't even use the spray can for minis usually. As I tend to paint in groups of 5 or less, I generally find brushing on chaos black as a primer is actually easier and faster than spraying, plus you don't miss any spots. I usually end up going back in with a brush on spray undercoated 15's anyway so why bother.
Also, there are a lot of figures I don't use black undercoat on. Shock! Yes, if a figure is going to be mainly one bright or light color, I just used (until recently) citadel foundation paints straight onto the metal in two thin coats. The Crusty infantry were done this way, relying on washes to bring out the detail.

The bottom line: Gesso- It's OK I guess.


Scratch built cork tile hills

I've managed to put together and paint some low hills made from cork tile. This is a common technique that seemed easy enough so I gave it a go in an effort to break up my terrain collection, which was until today without any hills... Odd I know.

These were pretty easy. I broke up the edges of the pieces of cork with a pair of small pliers and used PVA to glue them together. I glued some extra small crumbled off bits  around the joins, then spread some texture medium on the flat surfaces.

When dry, I used black gesso to undercoat them. The next day (today) I drybrushed them with 3 shades of brown craft paint, then a light dusting of Vallejo pale sand last of all. Bringing out the detail took careful drybrushing in multiple passes, over a couple of Walking Dead episodes. I finished them off with some of my Silfor tufts.

For the small effort they took, I'm very happy with the result. I also made some trash/debris piles for scatter terrain in my city ruins. They took a little more work, but I'm very happy with how they look and will hopefully be posting photos of them soon.

Thanks for looking!

Regular Programming

Hey readers, sorry it's been so long between posts. As happens from time to time, real life has intruded and put the brakes on blogging. I've got personal stuff going on that means I haven't had much time to blog or take proper photos, or get the games in I have planned.
I've managed to get some terrain built and painted as you can see in the instragram workbench stream on the right, as this is less taxing than painting minis and I can stop and start as I please. I'm finding instagram a lot less time consuming than blogging at the moment, so it's taken the lead a bit out of the two.
Anyway, I'm going to have significantly more time on my hands in a week or so, and I will endeavor to make at least weekly posts from then on wards.

I've had plenty of fresh minis coming in lately, a huge haul from Khurasan (Thanks again Jon!) including the modern zombie hunters, which I am looking forward to painting as I re-watch S2 of the Walking dead while I ramp up for S3.
Also recently in the mail: A lovely bag from Rebel minis, which will be absolutely perfect for my intended John-Woo style games.

I have settled on Ganesha Game's Flashing Steel rules for this project, which seems odd considering they are a 3 musketeers style ruleset, but they include everything I want in this sort of game.

Why not Flying Lead? Sadly, that set just didn't do it for me. It weighed down the elegant Song Of system just that little bit too much to make it smooth and fun. Flashing Steel has a more usable points system (FL requires you to use 2 types of online builder...Ugh.) and has "swashbuckling" rules built in, which allow things like sliding along tables and kicking chairs into people's faces etc. The key word is cinematic... FS is quicker and much more cinematic.

I just had to tinker with the skills and weapons a bit. Essentially, I swapped modern weapons for muskets and martial arts for the different types of melee weapons. Grabbed a few relevant abilities from MDRG and done! We will see how it pans out of course.

The guns were the trickiest part. I wanted them to be different enough from each other that they would be interesting to use on an 18" board, but not so complex that they had too many exceptions to remember.
My solution was to come up with a brand new way of representing movie firearms rather than try to bend the existing ones into shape.
Flying Lead's Assault rifle has 3 different special rules (C+2, Long range, Select fire, move and shoot) while MDRG's has just C+2. Neither has a points value in the rulebook. I wanted something in the middle, so came up with this:

Modern Cinema Guns for Flashing Steel

  • All Guns may fire beyond their designated range at a -1 C penalty
  • All guns have a maximum range of 3x their listed range distance
  • All guns run out of ammo if a 1 is rolled, and cannot be used until reloaded (2 actions)

Keep in mind that these are generalized categorizations, designed to fit my figure collection. A heavy pistol could be a machine pistol or a .50 Desert Eagle for example.
"Support weapon" is intentionally vague. Since I don't intend to use vehicles in these rules (perhaps Bikes, but they are easily handled with skills) it's a big heavy gun as far as anyone in a tea-house or space-bar is concerned.

I am aware that the ranges are not "realistic" in the slightest. Consider them the "effective range" in a chaotic close quarters environment. Hollywood doesn't care about stuff like this anyway, so I'm going for fun over authenticity. (Some easy examples are Han Solo's pistol besting a whole squad of armored troops with carbines, and the Schwarzenegger film "Commando" in it's entirety.)

I have tried to make my rules simple and consistent  so that I can remember them while playing solo. This is quite different than a head to head game, where your opponent's head contains some of this stuff.

Typically, they are untested as yet, although I have my shanty board all set up, and a team of Khurasan cops vs Armie's Army Mercs deployed. I just need to play the game!

See you again soon,


Monday, 24 September 2012

Crusty Heavy Support

Crusty Walker on 30mm base
As you may have seen in the feed, I've been toiling away at my Crusty Walkers. Here is the first complete one, decked out to match my Crusty Power Armor troops.

All are from GZG, and are excellent sculpts. Some of the edges are a little soft, but for alien crustaceans, it's OK with me.

Crusty Power Armor troops on 20mm bases
I went with an orange armor scheme, with Russian green suits underneath to tie them in with my other Crusty troops. I did all the weapons in white to show them as distinct from the dirty metal guns the rabble troops carry.

These all took quite a lot of effort due to the mechanical detail. I have actually got another 3 suits almost finished (weapons and bases to go) but they are identical poses, so I thought I'd throw out a post with these 3 done.

I'm working on my Kallistra Hexon terrain boards to have a little more space to get troops on the board. For what? For FUBAR! I played 3 games over the weekend and I think it's a great system for playing Platoon Forward (In space) as it's light and points-free.

Since my boards are quite small, I have adapted the weapon ranges and firepower values to suit. In my variant, each weapon type has varying FP depending on range. It worked out very well in my test games, as the rules are so simple to start with. With this system, a combat shotgun behaves differently to an assault rifle for example, which I like.

The (extremely flexible) Platoon Forward scenario generator includes things like squad support weapons and AT guns.. Something I lack in general. I am going to need to order some big guns (probably from GZH again) in due course, but I think I'll start the campaign without them  or see what I can convert in the meantime.

My next step will be to generate my platoon, which should be fun! I'm going to use my 5150 definition of a platoon here... 3 fireteams of 4 men each plus a "Platoon" commander. Can't wait.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Retrofitted Terrain

Not a lot of time to paint lately, but as you might know, when I can't get a solid stretch of painting in, I make terrain!

 Or in this case, re-using some older terrain (Proxie models ruined walls) by making it into ruined buildings instead of free standing separate walls. They are a great product and I'm considering buying some of the corner ruins to expand my set.

A little bit of pumice gel to blend them into the bases did the trick very quickly (as they were already painted), but I wanted the interiors to look a little nicer than just throwing some dirt in there.

For building number one, I used a slab of Imex on the left, with a few spare tiles cut out of plastic. On the left I used some textured paper to look like cobblestones. I think this piece needs a little more work on the floor, probably checkerboard tiles. They are cheesy, but they are effective.

Speaking of alternating tiles, the second building featured a second level sniper perch. Both the tiles and the cracked floor were made by carving into foam core with one side of the paper peeled off. It's a great alternative to carving pink/blue foam and I find it really easy to handle. A little bit of pumice gel to add interest really set this off.

Building number three features a wooden floor made out of popsicle sticks split in half and cut up. The mesh on the left was supposed to be old carpet, which I may still do by glazing it.

On the workbench are GZG Crusties and mechs, because I want to expand them as an OpForce. This is to take a run at Platoon Forward by Toofat Lardies, using Fubar rules. These ruins will feature heavily in this project too.

I have (of course) come up with a few new projects I'm excited about that will further stress my free time, but I'll post about them when I actually do work on them.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Shivan blademistress

This is a Blue Moon Shivan I had half-done (see a trend here? I'm trying to get all my incomplete minis completed) a while ago and finished up recently. She is partnered with the model I painted in this post.

I went with drab colors to draw out the skin tone,  but I might try something brighter on the third member of this group.
I should mention the metallic parts of the model are very easy to do and I really like the look. Old Citadel boltgun metal painted on solid, then a wash of New Citadel Agrax earthshade. That's all.. As the new washes are quite thin, it comes out looking weathered but not quite rusty.

Here she is with her cohort, escorting a (Laserburn) nobleman/scientist/creepy robed guy:

I'm feelng the need to consolidate my terrain again, which isn't very difficult. I'm going to split my collection into City Ruins and shanty town. This will help keep the basing consistant and the colors looking cohesive. I may post a little about this as I go about it, depending on my mood.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 13 September 2012


I have had this smartgunner and her tech compatriot undercoated and half-painted for months now, and in an effort to move on to the vacc suit exterminators (all from Khurasan miniatures) I've been finishing off these two and doing further highlights on the rest of the squad.

These figures have a ton of detail. They were actually quite difficult to paint if I'm honest, but they are very satisfying to get finished. There are two models missing from the set, which I used a different color scheme on and I really am not happy with. I need to get some Dettol tomorrow and strip them so I can complete the set.

The faded fatigues look makes them look very "Vietnam war" to me, and I'm glad I got away with avoiding camo, which I feel works poorly in 15mm scale.

I have some additional support figures on the way, which will be fun to round out the unit with. I think I'll pit them against my Crusties once I get hold of some dullcote and seal them all.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Laserburn Redemtionist and Board pimping

I painted this guy recently just for fun. He is a "Disciple of the redemption" from the Laserburn range. As usual, the Laserburn sculpt reveals more goodness the more you paint it. In my games he will be a terrifying jetpack-equipped bounty hunter.

I went with a simple red and black scheme, but his armor is so interesting you could approach it a variety of ways and look good.

I have also added some grey drybrushing to my 45cm skirmish board to encourage me to play some test games of my homebrew rules.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Solo Skirmish RPG Rules notes

So Ive been working on rules again... Who doesn't? ;)

I have boiled down for the millionth time what I like in a solo skirmish and why. This is the reasoning behind my latest effort.

Simple is better than complex. Its hard to keep too much in my head when playing solo, and checking a QRS should be infrequent as possible. A system you can easily remember is key.
Suspense is important. As there is no opponent, suspense and surprises are the fun part of the game.
I would like integration with my solo roleplay efforts. This is out of left field, but solo rpg is something Ive found fascinating since I discovered it via blogs.
Keep the scope narrow. Don't try to make a game that does everything.
Narrative! I like games that are aimed at creating cool narrative over crunchy simulation.

So here's the start of what I came up with.

I was obsessed for a long time with the card draw mechanic from TRWNN, as its excellent. The problem is you need to make custom decks or translate numbers.. Too much effort.
Instead I adapted the activation system I have read is used in Victory Decision.

The player (this is solo remember) chooses one of his minis, and selects the closest unactivated enemy model. Both dice for activation, the winner activates (each mini can only activate once a turn) when all minis have acted, turn over.

On activation, a model may Perform 3 actions one at a time, from the following choices:

Get up
RPG inquiry
RPG action

This is the cool part. Rather than making a solo rpg session before and after the battle, the solo rpg mechanics can be used DURING the battle.

In one of my tests of the theory:
My squad scouted an encounter token and discovered (via Yes/no/and/but dice questions) an abandoned transport truck... Inside was a bunch of unmarked gold, which the enemy were obviously there to steal! The gold was not easily transportable and the vehicle was inoperable despite frenzied attempts to get it running, so the squad demo expert tried to booby trap the vehicle.. Which went wrong and exploded prematurely. The squad pulled out as the enemy secured the area. They would need to either come back with heavy equipment to liberate the gold (Kelly's heroes scenario maybe) or leave it to the enemy.

This was all generated on the fly with no charts or prewritten scenario, just logic and interpretation of dice.

In another game, where two agents tried to sneak up on some cultists, the rpg mechanics handled all the non combat actions perfectly, just like having a GM as suggested in old school Warhammer, amongst other vintage rule sets. The combat was exciting and narrative as well. (things didn't go well for the agents, they took out the lookout, but the cultists swarmed one of the Agents and stabbed him to death before the other could reach them and shoot them up. It was a real nail-biter.)

Each action spent on moving gives you one roll of your move die. I find random move distances really add suspense to a shootout, especially when running for cover. It works beautifully in TRWNN and also in CROM. I'm sold on it for solo games, especially using the poly dice where a slow character moves d6 and q fast one moves d10.

Opposed roll, difference in hits. Roll to save hits, remaining hits have a cumulative damage effect.

A low hits total will give you a knocked down or a few more will yield a flesh wound, hampering your rolls by -1 depending on what body area was hit.

A high unsaved hits total can take you out on the spot, or cripple you so you cant move for example.

Flesh wounds are tracked by placing red markers/counters on your character card in the relevant body zone. A wound to the arm inflicts a -1 to shoot, to the body -1 to guts rolls, etc.
At the start of your activation you must roll higher than your total number of flesh wounds to stay conscious.
This keeps record keeping relatively easy. Sure its a little bit fancy, but this game is for 5 or so models per side so detailed damage is more interesting and narrative than not having it.

Thats all for now, but I'm pretty excited about this little system.

(I should have brought some Lego micro-figs along for test games in the hotel.
1 lug= 1", and a terrain board is very easy to build in micro-scale... Hmm, wish I'd thought of this sooner.)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I'm going to PAX Prime 2012

I'm off in the morning, back on a jet, back to the USA, for my first PAX Prime gaming convention. I'll hopefully be taking some photos, but if you don't hear from me in the next week, it's cause I'm on the road.

When I get back, I have a week off that I plan to spend at home working on some music.. And of course painting a few minis!

Goodnight readers, I have to be up at 5:30 tomorrow...

The Department

Mail call!

As I was leaving the house today, I found a little brown paper packet in my mailbox. As you can see, it was my 15mm figures for "The Department" hand packed by the splendid Joe Dragovitch himself!

I bought the PDF for this game a few months ago when I moved back to Australia and it was a fascinating read.
I'm not a background story kind of guy, as I prefer to make up my own. The Department however has a genuinely interesting premise and is tightly focused around the idea of "Fabricants" and their role in society. The book is not choked with fiction, but what is there is thoughtfully placed and well written... I really enjoyed it.

The system is basically Goalsystem, which I think reads very well but have not played. Additionally, the game is designed to be co-op or solo without a GM. This is very rare and exactly what I look for in a rulebook! The solo element is handled by a set of AI charts that govern the actions of the non player forces. It's quite simple at first glance, but pretty ingenious.

The short version is you create some characters and then run your police unit (complete with Internal Affairs interference and evidence points) as you track down a master criminal. It is a unique and very well conceived game. The important word here is "focus". This is a game that does a great job of making you feel like you are conducting an investigation (I was reminded more of "The Wire" than Blade Runner) and dealing with encounters than full-on battles. This is not a game of pitched battles.

In theory you only require a handful of figures to play, so the accompanying minis line is a good start. I would imagine a variety of civilians in suits etc. would be useful as well. I think a pack or two from The Scene and Rebel would sort you out for most games.

Why haven't I played it? Two reasons. The first is time.. I just don't have enough to myself lately, and when I do it's been spent desperately painting. The second is fuss. Huh?

Central to the game is the character sheet, and the one in the book makes me want to design my own. Which of course I don't have time for. Also, I don't have any city terrain, which I feel is important to use.
I know they aren't especially good reasons, but at this stage in my life it doesn't take much to derail my hobby time :(

To close, the minis are fantastic! great sculpting, clean casting, oozing with character. And at three pound fifty SHIPPED TO MY DOOR, represent incredible value.
Thank you Joe!

Saturday, 25 August 2012


Sculpted by Eli and sold by, this is another alien denizen figure that I did while painting the shacks in the last post.

I like to have a single figure to pick at while I'm working on a larger group of things to make best use of my painting time. To be honest I dislike painting 'units' in the traditional way, but sometimes it needs to be done.

This fellow/lady was painted with Vallejo Gunship green and English Uniform.The eyes are lime green and his breather is some kind of buff color with earthshade wash applied.

This figure has all kinds of uses in sci fi or even Mythos gaming. He was quite fast to paint and took to the brush very well.

As you might have seen in the workbench feed, I'm dusting off my old 3d spaceship terrain modules and have them all ready to play with! The main thing I did was standardize "connection points" by placing a grating square where each module is supposed to join to the others. This means I can use them for a quick layout generation system I've whipped up. I will do a full post about them soon.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Scratch built shanty buildings

I've been terribly busy with real life, especially work etc. etc. However I have managed to put these buildings together while watching a crummy movie with my girlfriend on the weekend. I find terrain building is relaxing and pleasant when one is too tired to paint a "proper" mini.

This first building is made mostly out of some rescued blocks of blue foam (ripped off my old vault terrain tiles). The corrugated metal is paper from an art supply shop, the front door is a GZG metal one, and the back wall is an IMEX panel. Finally, there is an air conditioning unit by The Scene on the side. The whole deal is mounted on a plastic base textured with pumice gel.
I finished it off with a little bit of foam shrubbery.

This hexagonal building was made of foamcore, with an IMEX roof and plenty more corrugated paper. Another GZG door and large aircon unit complete the picture.

These walls were recycled vault terrain, with some more corrugated paper and chopped bits of junk glued on.

This tower is made mainly out of IMEX parts, with some ripped up plastic sheet and corrugated paper to fortify the top. Most of my terrain is one-story, so it was about time I made some high ground.

This last piece is another IMEX part, mounted on a block of blue foam with a GZG hatch glued on. As you can see, it makes a great bridge between two other terrain pieces.

These pieces were all easy to make and cost me nothing as I recycled them out of old junk and unpainted lead. Combined with my existing GZG shanty shacks they round out a pretty respectable sci-fi or post-apoc settlement to game in.

I painted these up tonight in about an hour while listening to my favorite Podcast, Minions of the Monster Master. It took me about two hours and I feel like a great weight has been lifted from me as I finally got some hobby time in!

Thanks for looking!