Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year Or 2017 - The Plan

I've just looked back through the blog and could say pretty much what I said this time last year. Something about how few posts I've done and how little gaming that there was in them. That said, it was better than last year. I was hoping for a bit of a change around this year but with my dad passing and my mum being ill and a house move, I was bracing myself for some disappointment.

In actual fact there wasn't all that much gaming going on. There was more painting than the blogs shows and I guess I will get round to posting some of that. I got more blogging done this year but not as much as I would have liked. I did get some gaming done but again, more would have been better. Lets face it, it wasn't the biggest bar to beat. The wood working projects ended with the move. The house has led to a bit of a downsize and too much of my stuff is now in the garage which is currently inaccessible. The undead got done. Some work was done of the X-Com figures and I have even managed to do a bit on them today. I have played the new X-Com but like the older one better. I got some post apocalyptic figures to do but I am not sure how far I am going to get with that this year. Bits for the Viking game and Frostgrave got done but even more has arrived. So whilst it has progressed the queue has got bigger for this. I have done a few test pieces for making a load dungeon terrain. This did not go anywhere but I did some painting of resin, plastic and metal terrain. Some 6mm Napoleonics and some work towards a Titansgrave game got done too

So on to 2017. What do I really think is going to happen? I am pretty sure that I haven't figured that out yet. Again. I am already getting that good news, bad news vibe about it, but I am hoping for the best. Again.

X-Com is still a going concern. I have been working on  this a little bit at a time. I have yet to source some of the figures for the game which is why I guess I am still going slow with this. Chances of completing this project in 2017 about 25%.

The Viking game is going to keep going. I am looking more at monsters and demi-humans and other races than I am Vikings. I have quite a few animals that I can see being painted up. I have some rat men to finish off. Not strictly on mission but they have been sitting around a while and I need them dealt with. There are also some ents/dryads that need painting. I am also going to continue working on the rules and background. This is a Savage Worlds game which is already at the 140 page mark. This is never going to be finished merely temporarily abandoned.

Frostgrave, I have a lot of stuff for Frostgrave. I can't really see me doing a game of it this year. I can see me painting some figures especially the ones that fit in with the Viking game. They are some nice fantasy figures. They fit with my Viking game stuff, mostly, ish and with my more mainstream fantasy game.

Titansgrave is going to be an ongoing project. I like the scifi/fantasy crossover. It's got a very John Carter like core but with dwarves and elves rather than Martians. I guess this is going to be a biggish project that is unlikely to get finished this year. Part of the problem is that I need to source some figures. This is going to be a project where conversions are required so should be fun. I have humans that I can use, Saurians in the production queue and some plastic orcs in a box. Other stuff is work in progress.

Blood Bowl is a new/old project. I got the new version of the game. I may even get a second set, just for the figures. I am likely to paint a few teams this year. I have about four teams to paint already. Two new two old. For the new teams I want more figures so I am waiting until I get these extra figures until I start this project.

There are a few projects that I am likely to touch on. I can imagine that I might do some 6mm Napoleonics again. WWW2 is rarely far away from my mind. The new stuff from from Warlord might tempt me at some point. I have an idea for a 15mm battle mecha project. This is still in the rules stage but I have a few ideas. I keep tinkering with my own savage worlds rule set but this is way off being complete.  This would not take much to get going. I have some super hero figures but not enough to start a meaningful project. This is likely to stay on hold for a bit too. English Civil War figures also seem on the agenda but not today. VBCW and post apocalyse still seem on the cards too.

There must be something to do with all this work. I am going to start role playing again this month. I would also like to do a bit of board gaming too. I would like to get away for at least one weekend of gaming this year and hopefully two.

We will see...

Dead Rising 4 Or Christmas And Zombies

The year is about to come to an end. Zombies, what is better than a game about zombies? A zombie game set at Christmas. Talk about senseless violence. I love the franchise nearly as much as Fallout. I think it was when I got to kill a horde of zombies with a park bench in the first game that I was sold on it. Hordes of the things that never seem to stop coming. You can pick up  practically anything and use it to club things to death. In the first game I had a kill count of over 100,000 zombies. After four days with the game I am just touching 30,000 and now, a few days later I am almost at the 100,000 mark.

Guns seem to be playing a bigger role in the game. In the first game you could count yourself lucky to get a pistol. With this game (which is set in the future) guns, even energy weapons, are much more common. This makes the zombies much easier to kill. I am a lot less likely to die.

Creating combo weapons was the focus of Games two and in three and now four, combo vehicles are the big thing. Taking a segway and a golf cart, a classic car and a ski-mobile and a go cart and an electric wheelchair for example. All good fun. A quick step to mas slaughter.

I got a copy of Dead Rising just before Christmas. I finished it three days later. It was a rocky ride but I only died about a dozen times and bear in mind this was achieved in a few days whilst I have been busy buying Christmas trees and all the usual seasonal stuff. Story line is therefore a little light but who cares when there are zombies to kill right? There just isn't enough game there to keep me happy. That said I have started it again, finished it and started it again, just to find all the trophies.

There is even a Christmas sticking stuffer. All the zombies become Santa's elf helper zombies and a few other bits. Nice but I have turned it off already.

For various reasons. the Character of Frank West, the main protagonist of the game is a character I associate with more than any other. I should probably get myself a camera.

The game is set in a place called Willamette. Oddly the same place where a lot of the action takes place in the book The Postman. It has a massive shopping mall which is odd for a settlement which is home to three hundred people.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Workbench Clean Up

I actually got to spend some time on my work bench today. I didn't get a chance to do anything practical. I had spent so much any time painting. The desk had just become a dumping ground over Christmas, that was on top of the mess that was already there.

So now it is cleaner than it ever has been, ever on the day it was first put together.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Winter, I Mean Christmas Is Coming

Although I haven't been posting much this month, there has been some work going on. Family illness has meant I had lost my work area. Due to an even greater decline in health, albeit temporary, I have got my work bench back. Yeah. Nothing good going on here. Still busy here though.  One day I managed to glue one arm on a miniature and that was about it.

I was looking around the workbench and found there was plenty of stuff hanging around part painted. Not least of which is the X-Com figures. They have become the background project when the really should be the foreground project. The plan was to make a foam tray full (36 figures) for the good guys. Mostly the required figures are soldiers, 21 in total.  I also wanted some casualties, as there is a limit as to how many figures the Skyranger will hold, five figures would be enough as once there are six bodies on the floor it's game over. The rest would be science types and command figures.

I am still looking for a good duplicate for Bradford. I am currently looking at the possibility of getting a Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart figure and doing a head swap.
Image result for Brigadier Lethbridge StewartImage result for central officer bradford

So I finished the casualty figures. I think I have posted a few before but now I have the five. Some have look better than others. I like the one that has bunched up more than the others. It looks like one of the soldiers from the original game. Some have a few minor conversions just to make the legs look right. Like the other figures, I have gotten rid of the winged death's heads and simplified a lot of the extra techie stuff. A few little touches have made them look a lot better.

Then I have moved on to the zombies. Again I would never need more than five of them. Some are more converted than others. These will definitely not be in the player character foam tray. I want to keep them as a surprise.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

200,000 Blog Hits

Somehow I have got to two hundred thousand hits. I am still not sure who is reading this but whoever you are, thank you very much. I am still enjoying writing this blog even if I don't have as much time to do the painting at the moment. I am hopeful that I will start to find more time next month.

Christmas is coming so I should have a few days to do something. Anyway, here is a cheesey graffic.
Image result for 200000
What does surprise me is that I have stuck with it. This is the longest I have stuck with any one project since childhood. I'm still not OCD enough to stick with it all the time but I am constantly thinking about it which is good.

Thanks again.

Sunday, 9 October 2016


I am beginning to think that I am in some sort of limbo. I remember an episode of St Elsewhere when one of the characters ended up in Limbo. He was surrounded by the people who didn't do but had an opinion about everything.  I remember there being a lot of people dressed up in referee outfits. Armchair referees who never got up to go and watch a match let alone play a game. This is starting to feel a bit like me. I should be painting stuff for Zomtober but I can't get to my workbench at the moment. There are reasons for this so I guess I haven't got that much to complain about.

I heard about the passing of Michael Leader, the Clumsy Stormtrooper. I am sure I have seen this guy at a convention a good while ago. But the internet seems to have convinced me that Mace Windu is in fact Supreme Leader Snoke and it follows (apparently) that Rey is Palpatine's daughter and Finn is Mace Windu's son. It labels itself as an insane fan theory but is seems to have a lot on consistency with the "facts".

So I am looking for other stuff to do. YouTube is getting a bit of a pounding. Unlike my normal YouTube binges, things are a little more diverse. I might do a bit more about this on another day. I have just started playing X-Com 2. This has made me think that I need to but myself a better laptop. I have money to spend so this might be happening soon. My dad got me the one I have now so that might be a bit of a wrench.

Things are a bit of a problem even for some solo gaming. I would love to do some but at the moment at least, this isn't on the cards either. I am looking for something new, but I guess that I am just going to keep doing what I am doing. Skyrim remastered is on it's way in just under three weeks so I guess that I have that to look forward to.

I will have to console myself with the big ass UHD TV.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

I have played a number games of Imperial Assault now and I am starting to like it. My original feeling was that I liked it because of the figures. I am a huge Star Wars fan and I think I was a fan before anyone else I knew. This was mainly due to seeing the Palitoy action figures in a shop window. So it really was the figures that really attracted me to the game. I didn't really want to buy it because it was too expensive but I guess I will get round to it, if only for the figures.

This was despite my first impression that this was just another "funky dice game". This is probably one of my core gaming prejudices with collectible card games being the other. What I don't like about it is the mechanics for moving between scenarios is a little complicated and time consuming. That said, now that is has been played a few times and the rules are becoming understood, the turn around time is becoming a little more fluid. There is a lot of admin as well. So much that it needs an app to handle it all. Sadly the apps need a little work doing to them and they don't cover all the expansions.
The tiles for the game are pretty good too. I like the idea of using these for role playing as well. I am not sure that I would buy the game purely for the tiles but if I did, I think I would scan them to make up the tiles as mats and keep the tiles for the board game. I could really see this being useful in a Titansgrave game and maybe even use the tiles from Imperial Assault's sister game, Descent  which should give a sci/fantasy/post-apocalypse vibe and I think the Doom game might be using the same format.
There are plenty of minis. All the main characters are there and enough NPC (rebels and imperials) to be the basis of an RPG which I think was the original plan for buying it. If you throw in a few more mainstream sci-fi RPG figures and you have the basis for a nice game. With all the expansion packs already available and several more potentially on their way, I  can see most of the characters from the films making their way in to a pack.
Jyn Odan has been "my" character whilst we have been playing this. A sly smuggler who seems to spend most of her time on her back, unconscious. The characters all are nicely different, each with a flair for something.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

I Love Windows 10 :-(

When I downloaded Windows 10 it was alright. I am not a huge fan of Microsoft and would probably still be using Windows Me if it could keep up with the software. People have said it's a little like Star Trek films, the odd numbers are really bad. Other people have said that it's unlike Star Trek because it the even ones are bad. I am on the fence with that, as just recently, they all seem to be pretty awful. But at least they have gotten better after release as the patches have come out. Until Now!!!

I think the thing that gets me the most is the start the logging on process. The first page on boot up used to have a pretty picture. Now we have a a black screen. Windows still asks you "do you like what you see." It's a blank screen, I might not have liked all the pictures before but this is a blank screen, what is there to like. You have the option to enquire about the picture that should be there but as you don't know what it is, why would I bother?

It then started to get worse. They started putting adverts on it. I hate adverts. They are the bane of the internet. Nothing tells me that the net has changed like the presence of adverts. I go to great lengths to get away from them. Now, sadly, they have got to a stage where I can't get rid of the damn things. If it wasn't for the software I use, I would probably do that. That said, I think Mac is even worse.

And yes, my screen could really use a clean.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Suicide By Cop---per Dragon & We All Need A Challenge

I was reading a blog which has an article by the RPG Pundit about using mechanics to substitute roleplay. It got me thinking about some of the advice about GMing that I have had and I was thinking specifically about Robin's Laws of Good Games Mastering. This is a great book and probably my go-to book for GMing skills. It's central piece of advice, "the great immutable ironclad law" is "role playing is entertainment, your goal as GM is to make the game as entertaining as possible". Pretty solid advice. I have had two players quote this too me over the years, usually when they want something that does not exist in the game.

I was struck by two things. Firstly that players do stupid things and that it usually the players that get themselves killed. Players, like movie watchers, want a challenge and giving them to much to easily is a lame way to game.

For me the problem comes around with a lot of players is that entertainment for them means getting what they want all the time. I know that role playing is sometimes about suspension of reality. We are not magic users, superheroes and psychics after all but our characters can be. Even of the powers can warp reality, the cannot change reality. I remember a psychic, who was a great martial artist, was locked up and medicated in a secure psychiatric unit who wanted to escape. Such places are designed to be difficult to get out of and if you are pumped full of tranquillizers, this should be even harder. The desire to escape was probably made worse by the fact that the other players were not rushing to get him out.

I remember a decision the group I was playing with made to attack a copper dragon as a way to get out of a dungeon. The call was not mine but the argument was repeated so often it became compulsive. The party was significantly outclassed. Four low level characters against a copper dragon was never going to end well. After the fight, the GM admitted that the dragon was there to scare off the players and in fairness, he dropped a number of hints to that effect. The plan was to get the "battle turtle" to sneak up on the dragon and stab it through the eye and into the brain whilst it slept. The warrior of course had a minimum of sneak skill that was totally offset by the plate mali and other gear that was making him encumbered.
I think the referee let a couple of rolls slide but when the warrior decided to shout at another player to get them to shut up. The dragon then woke up and started talking to the fighter asking him what he thought he was doing sneaking around a dragon's lair. The fighter said that he was here to kill the dragon...It was a bit like shouting allah al ackbar just whilst wielding a scimitar and wearing a bomb vest before charging police officer armed with a sub-machine gun. As I have come to call it, Suicide by Cop---per Dragon. Needless to say, ten minutes later we were talking about what classes would work out well for our new characters.

People mistake entertainment for getting what they want. My character lasted long enough to say I told you so three times, which was pretty entertaining for me.

I think “entertaining” it is more about making the players work for something rather than serving it to them on a plate. I encourage players to suggest what they might like to get hold of in the future. This helps me and them. It gives me ideas for “presents” and something that players can work to. It gives the players an interest in the game. Keeping them happy does not mean the next chest they find has a bunch of +4 weapons in it.

I tend to prefer a cinematic approach. Things are always going wrong in the movies and in most stories. These are challenges to be overcome. Problems are the driver to the next scene of the plot, from there to the next act and the eventual conclusion. For instance, one shot villains are never as much fun as a larger than life recurring villain. Where would the fun be if you had all the money in the world but were so jaded with life there was nothing interesting out there for you to do.

If you were interested in what the two things were that the players wanted, one wanted a robotic battle tank in a Fallout game. I declined this because robotic tanks were not part of the background. The other was a robotic sex slave. The person asking for that was an American who I think had been in the airforce. I declined the robotic sex slaves because it was the right thing to do.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Goblins - More Of Them

I finished these (well give or take) last month. I started the project over a year ago and have worked on them intermittently. After doing a few test figures I had a plan albiet a fairly long term one. Enough with the chat, here are the pics.
These were done as role playing figures, mainly for the viking game. Although they are not really Norse looking, they don't really look like they belong to any other period and hooded robes and weapons will do nicely for what I want. They may even make it into a Frostgrave game and maybe even Titansgrave.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Red Dwarf XI

There isn't much TV that I can quote almost word for word. The first six seasons of Red Dwarf are part of that limited range of shows for me. Thinking about it, Hitchhikers and Hyperdrive are two of the others so sci-fi comedy features quite highly. Red Dwarf took up a huge part of my life in my late teens and early twenties. It's odd that four characters that have a number of personal issues have managed to attract such a huge following over the years. I guess it is because there is a little of the characters in all of us. Or is it just me?
So it is back for another season. Next year it will be thirty years old and it's still going. You never know what to expect when shows have been going on for so long. Having watched the first episode of season XI I have to say it's still on form. If anything it has gotten slightly better than recent seasons. The production values seems to have gotten better, particularly the sets and the special effects. Where things are really noticeable is the scripts. After thirty years, it is expected that scripts should start to falter and plot lines seem to be consistently absent. No such problems are here. The script still seems fresh and there are a few lines, among the usual tropes, that make you laugh out loud.
The early seasons did of give me an education in many things that were really important, but gave me a bigger insight into the human condition. After all, it was Red Dwarf that taught me that hell really is being stuck in a room for eternity with your mates, not Sartre. I am proud to be one of the "boys from the dwarf" even after all this time.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Bitching Helps + 6mm Napoleonics

I spent some time bitching yesterday. It has to be said that I will be doing plenty of bitching today as well. On top of that, in the long term bitching forecast I can see the bitchathon continuing with a good chance of a severe weather warning, high UV and a pollen count that will make even the hardiest reach for the antihistamine. My other half has a number of suggestions to resolve my problems but the underlying problems remain regardless. Which is a shame because I thought the underlying problems were beginning to work themselves out. Instead of things getting better, things look like they are going to get significantly worse as my mum is now ill. At least it means I get to spend some time with her.

But I have some pictures. As a way of over compensating for a bad day, I did some painting the other day. After finishing off two units of French Napoleonic Dragoons, I moved on to some fantasy stuff. Then back to some more 6mm Napoleonics and have now all but finished my first unit of infantry. One down nineteen more to go. That's just the stuff that I own at the moment. There are about forty bases to do in the packs that I have. I have done about a third of them (in I think eight years of owning them.
Strictly speaking I would say this isn't my fault as we play a game, say we will do more and then nothing happens, I have a GHQ WW2 US army that cost £150 for Blitzkreig Commander that we agreed to play that has never been used ). I have plans to buy more French and some Spanish (and Wurtemburgers, Bavarians, Duchy of Warsaw and some Brunswickers) tor round out the stuff I have. Then maybe we will get round to playing a game over even a campaign.

I guess the fact that I buy all the stuff and then it just sits and festers is part of the problem. I like the idea of doing something, no one is interested in it so I have to buy all the armies and still have no opponents. I do what somebody else says is going to be the next big thing, spend a wad of cash and then they forget about it. It's a conspiracy.

As an extra bonus, the weight loss program starts in the morning.

However, I am now downloading the first episode of the new Red Dwarf so things could be a lot worse.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Titansgrave - Ashes of Valkana

I guess I am a little bit of a Wil Wheeton fanboy and Titansgrave, Ashes Of Valkana, a supplement for Fantasy Age has helped that along. This is more for what he has done for my hobby than it is because of his role in Star Trek. Someone who can promote us all to being just about normal is pretty good by me. The Tabletop channel on YouTube and international Tabletop Day have been big boons for me.
When I heard he was promoting an RPG called Titansgrave I thought I would take a look. The videos he produced for support for the game were perhaps the best gaming videos on the net. I think most players and GMs could learn a lot from them. I wasn't so sure about the first couple of episodes but the ones later on were all amazing.

This made me want to play the game. I imagined a fantasy/sci-fi game years before 40k came out and I always wanted someone to produce a playable game in this genre. So when Titansgrave came out I became a little bit moist.

So with a copy of the rules and the Fantasy Age rules as well, I went out and got some figures to add to all the twenty year of GW stuff I was planning on using. And I am still playing around with the ideas. I was Also planning in using the Star Wars: Imperial Assault/Descent terrain tiles for terrain and maybe do a few graphics for vehicles.

The problem is, that despite the glitz and the glamour of the videos,  the game is just badly supported. Throughout two rule books, there are only a couple of dozen monsters, some of which are character races. Titansgrave adds only six weapons to the sci-fi world and precious little equipment. The world of Titansgrave is little more than a map and a potted history. It hints at something bigger and better and leaves you wanting much more.

Whilst it could be argued that this gives players a lot of scope to develop their own ideas, my ideas would be helped along the way a lot better if there was just more to go on. Despite the noise it made at the time of release, there is a really limited amount of support online, both official and unofficial. I feel a little bit guilty about saying this as I want the game to do well so it can be played.

At the moment, I still plan to play the game. If I get lucky thy will release some more support material. If this doesn't happen? I guess I can see a Savage Worlds home brew in the offing.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

I Have a Friend...

For the record, this is really not about me.

I have a friend. No seriously. I am not sure he feels the same and has used the phrase  well, over the years I have come to regard him as some one I've met. This friend as well as being a gamer has a particular thing for electric shocks. There are details but this is not that kind of blog. Anyway, we have "enjoyed" many games of Settlers of Catan. The regular game, not the starfarers one where the ships look it's not that sort of blog.

Anyway I came across this odd idea that might be of interest to him.  Electroshock Timer Will Speed Up Every Game of Settlers of Catan. No seriously. For most of us I could see this speeding the game up but for this friend of mine, well lets just say I can imagine the phrase, "have you got wood" having a whole new meaning.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Character Names For Star Wars

On the subject of Star Wars, a fairly tangential connection, we were discussing character names. I have a friend who came up with the name  Stilton Torpedo for his character. This was perhaps the worst name I have ever seen in a game. He was referred to as Lonely Cheesetube from then on. So, whilst drunk we came up with a convention on character naming for Star Wars. All names must involve a rocket or missile for the first name and a cheese product for the surname. I became Hawk Manchego. The instant vibe I got from this was the Rivera Kid. Not my natural territory but I think I can make it work I just need a character for it. That said there is a Vin Diesel like character with a mug in his hand which is perhaps more in keeping with the ethic and what I want in a character.

It springs to mind mind because I saw the Fantasy Flight Games are releasing Jabba's Realm. Now a friend of fancies himself as Boba Fett (just a dedicated businessman) although in his case Bob Effete might be more appropriate. Now I think that he might be a ranker (or is it spelt rancor, you could see how I could make the mistake). It is a pity that Jabba the Hutt is no a playable character that said Bib Fortuna or Salacious Crumb might be more appropriate.

I like Imperial Assault, I have played it a couple of time now. It has to be said that I like the figures more than the game itself but the game itself is pretty good too.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Too Much Going On

Yesterday disappeared. Well figuratively at least. Too much illness, whining, kids with stuff to do, family members and pets needing feeding amongst others. For me, aside from a little YouTube in the morning that was about it for me. Today is not looking much better, so much stuff to do. Well at least it's my mum's birthday but this isn't going o be all that much fun as she is expecting bad news.

I was hoping to get out and go gaming last night. For the first night in over a year. But I guess that was a bust. I was really looking to it. So I guess that ship has sailed. The same goes with painting. Whilst I am getting some painting done (for the first time in weeks) the amount I am getting done is minimal. I set myself low standards and I am failing to manage to meet even them. I was expecting to get a base of 6mm infantry done every day but at the moment it's looking like one every three or four days.

Normally, when I can't do either of the above, I get a chance to get some electronic gaming in. A mix of crappy internet, a low powered laptop and the summer holidays, as well as all of the above, are making even this difficult.

Well things seem to be conspiring against me. That's just talk though. This is a situation of my own making and I guess it is down to me to make the changes. That sadly is looking, for the most part, pretty unpalatable as well. I need my mojo back...or a lottery win.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Gadding About - Again - Kroot Raiders

I am back on the Napoleonics now but the focus got lost again. I painted ten of these. Well it was something to do.

I was hoping to do something along the lines of Titansgrave, The Ashes of Valkana. Not sure I could run the main campaign in the book, bits of it are a little too kitsch but I could turn it into something playable. It's kind of high fantasy sci-fi and I was thinking what sums that up as a genre more than anything else and came up with Star Wars. So I had a think, what could I get cheap and do some repaints on and all sorts of GW stuff came to mind.
Not Kroot and not Tusken Raiders either
So I got these Kroot figure. I don't know a lot about them in the 40k verse but they look a bit scary and tribal. So relating that back to Star Wars I thought Tusken raiders. They were a bit bashed up but that gave me a few ideas. I don't like the long guns so they got trimmed a bit and the flash hiders on the barrels became scopes.

I have a view that these guys are like drunken raiders rather than anything else. They live on the periphery of society. They must get their tech from somewhere but I can't see they walking down the high street.

I am still debating turning Titansgrave into a Savage Worlds game but I am guessing probably not. My normal way is to try and get figures that I can use in multiple games but I am struggling with these. It is possible they could become something post apocalyptic but probably not Fallout.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

More Napoleonic Cavalry

Even more Baccus 6mm Napoleonic Hussars. I like the Hussars on one level because they are nice and colourful. On fairly mundane (but not drab) battle fields, the Hussars have a bright and snazy uniforms. Anyway, this is the mornings work so far. Still a bit more to do.
They are about right but again it is hard to find all the details you actually need. Still some more detailling work to be done but will do that as a batch when I am ready.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Large Scale Battles...On A Smaller Scale

I am feeling the urge a lot at the moment. No not that urge. I have an itch that only painting seems to scratch and I am feeling that I want to have a bit of variety.

Baccus do really great figures, or so I am told. They are way to tiny for me to to tell. Anyway, I have found some stuff I started just after finishing another unit. I am pretty sure that they are meant to be the 4th Hussar.  I was looking at some of the Warlord 28mm figures and feel happy that my mates chose 6mm instead. Once they have been finished off and inked up, they should be a little darker

I am pretty sure that I got some details wrong so I am not really interested in anyone who is a Napoleonic expert telling me where I got it wrong.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Mixed Bag

Same workbench different paint rack
Well I have a work bench again. I have managed to find the paint but a lot of stuff is still missing. I suspect that it is in the garage. This is a bad thing as I suspect much of what I have in there is hidden behind really big stuff. For some reason I seem to have a lot more furniture now than I used to and as I am in a smaller house, things are beginning to tell.

I have too much paint for the racks I had. So I have built some new ones. A quick and dirty job and even quicker now that I own a table saw. It seems to work well enough and I can fit in all the paint I have and there is room yo spare for some more and you can never have enough paint.

I am a little bit ambivalent about what to do next.The usual suspects are floating around. Dark age fantasy is still floating around and there is stuff to finish off. There phrase I used was practical procrastination for a reason. I had done a few frostgrave figures but I am not really feeling it at the moment. I got the last "gnickstarter" but in my head that is all stuff that will get done eventually. Speaking of stuff to finish off, I am also looking at doing some more X-Com stuff. The more I look at it, the more I think GW is the way to go, with a few exceptions. I have done a bit on the not Imperial Guard and may get round to doing a bit more.

I noticed something on YouTube call Titansgrave, the Ashes of Valkana. As a bit of a Wil Wheeton Fanboy I thought I would take a look see. It is really a fantasy game but with a Sci-Fi edge (if you don't think that will work look at Shadowrun or 40k). It has started me going with a few ideas and I have some figures that will do well (I thought gnomes were hard to get fr regular fantasy but space gnomes, they are a true rarity). I like the idea and I have some figures that will do fine but even so, this would be a big project.

Another old project came up in conversation a couple of weeks ago which was a Napoleonic campaign. Part boardgame (The Napoleonic Wars) and part wargame (Marachel d'Empire) using 6mm figures. I remember painting some a while back but we could never really agree on the rules (game balance in one will affect the game balance in the other was my only real issue with it). I have a hankering for doing some of this and if I can find he figures (I have about 800 French figures). I think they want me to be Napoleon more because they can gang up on me than I have any tactical gifts.

Old role playing games want to come back an haunt me and Conspiracy X was one of my faves. I have gone as far as making out a wish list and setting up the rules I have found for a conversion into Savages Worlds but think that these would need a little bit of work.

Anyway back to the real world...

Sunday, 31 July 2016

I Guess It's About Time I Posted Something

Well there goes three months of hell. Thinking about it, the three months before that were not exactly the time of my life.

I guess it's my own fault, I rented a house from the church that used to be the vicarage. The church had been without a vicar for 14 years. All of sudden they have a volunteer vicar who is single and needs my extensive 4 bed house for herself. Bit of a blow but I have gotten over it and I am hardly feeling bitter any more.

We are still things are getting out of boxes but I have a work table and some stuff to do.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

X-Com - Now With Heads

It's been a busy (just over) week for me. Last weekend I had a friend over and a few games along with a trip to Triples. Lots on this week mainly painting (with a roller and emulsion rather than a size 1 Windsor and Newton and acrylic).  Now Easter is almost here. No Jokes about happy Zombie Jesus day although that is quite funny.

Anyway, I got a delivery from America, Mad Robot Miniatures to be precise so the conversions for the Imperial Guard as X-Com soldiers continues. Hopefully it will end up with a nice game. This has allowed me to add some heads to my X-Com minis. I got the choices all wrong (from the plan I had) for which head would go on which body. I guess that is not matter.

The heads are nice, if a little fragile but I guess that is to be expected with such fine castings

Thursday, 17 March 2016

More Of Imperial Guard Conversions For X-Com

I suspect you have seen a number of these as works in progress already but I have made a little more progress over time. As (almost) ever, these are all still work in progress. I really want to keep the moment going but I suspect that I am about to hit a bit of a wall. I have some work to do around the house which is becoming pressing. I have a visitor coming for the weekend and as part of that I am off to the Triples wargames show in Sheffield. Usually the biggest wargming event of the year for me. Still a lot of pretty pictures today.

 This is meant to be Marpat. I think I have just about got it. Mayvbe I will work on it a bit more.
 I keep thinking about how post apocalyptic  these guys look. Possibly I could convert these guys to something more post apocalyptic. The armour could easily pass as Combat Armour from Fallout. I could see some of these ending up bright blue and yellow rather than olive drab.

 This one is a bit of a cobble. I am not sure where the right arm comes from as I got it in a bag of bits but it is almost perfect for a zombie soldier.

I am liking that last figure a lot. A british squaddie with a broadsword must be a good idea for an RPG character.
I got some more bits from eBay today. Plasma gunners from Forge World. They will hopefully work well for the next stage of equipment development.  With a bit of luck there will be more bits and some news after Triples.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

X-Com Marpat and MRT/Multicam

A slower day today in terms of output. I think I was enjoying the building of the figures more than I am painting them. Well maybe a little. Think I have enough figures to be going on with. Some Catachans might be nice but that would mean more money, I think I worked out that I have enough bits for fifty to sixty figures plus I have more bits on the way.

Still today I have done a little painting. The first is this figure. This is meant to be MRT/Multicam. I am not sure if this is a British or American figure yet. It looks a pig close up but from a distance of 12” it actually looks pretty good. I had a scan around the net for paining guides. The one I settled on suggested putting the light grey down first. in hindsight I am not sure this was the best course as I spent the rest of the time trying to hide the grey which really stands out. That said, it made a nice light base for the rest of the paint job. It looked pretty stark at the end so I gave it a bit of a wash. Not enough to leave shadows but enough to wash the colours out. 

The next figure is definitely an American (unless they have a fetish for wearing marines gear, not heard that about wannabes in America but you know all that time alone at sea and wannabes in the UK). This was harder to source ideas for and in the end, even though there were a few ideas on the net about how to paint it, I gave up at looking at them. In the end I looked at a few pictures of it and went what the hell. I think I put too much of the light tone in. Not by best so far but it was pass on tabletop.

X-Com Zombies

How could I not love a game with zombies. These ones don't want your brains, they just want your body (for a host for their larval chryssalids). This makes a total of four completed zombies. I should probably do another one but I am thinking if things have gotten that bad the players are pretty screwed anyway. I probably need a few more corpses as well.
I am getting a little lazy with the building of them now.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

X-Com - Flags

I sometimes think I am getting caught up in the details. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this project and not doing anything about it. Now that I am doing something, I am probably doing too much. Maybe I am also thinking about my commitment to being a better painter this year. Right here right now, I am thinking about flags.
I was worried about the Union Jack the most. It's my national flag so I want to get it right, that said it is insanely complicated to paint. It is definitely something that evokes the flag rather than being an actual copy of it but not bad all the same, for freehand at least. I was trying to do British DPM camo as well. I thought I had screwed it up but then the last colour, the thin black lines, sold it for me.

One of the pilots is modelled after the female pilot Ibanez in the film Starship Troopers (not a bad film but nothing like the book). Pretty sure she was Brazilian so it all fits with my plan about funding nations. The flag turned out almost perfect (for a flag that is 4mm across and drawn freehand).

More Troopers For X-Com

I have another four models just about done for the game. Really I should be getting on with finishing them off before I start the process of painting. Most of them are taking a fair bit of time to put together, I guess the average being about thirty minutes. The glueing them together, the making some of the parts, de-moldlining, the chopping and changing (especially some of the weapons), the pining and the filing all take time. There are a few quick ones but that is not the norm.
The first one up is another shotgunner. The gun itself isn't that much of a problem but I have splice this into an arm with a strap carrying over the shoulder. It just works. It will probably look better when painted. In my head at least, this guy is based on the character Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from full metal jacket. Fortunately, I have a head for that (on the way at least).
Another character for the game is this heavy weapon soldier. No head yet but this will be Vasquez (smart gunner from Aliens). Another almost stereotype. I haven't modelled the SAW on this one but I liked the character's pose so I'll stick with it (and the other saw was a pain to make).
The game I am running is going to be based in the funding countries around the North Atlantic which includes (just) Nigeria. I was struck for heads until Ifound this. It must be all the rage in Nigeria in the future (but not now I guess). Just another rifleman but this guy has a special interest in entrenching tools.

Friday, 11 March 2016

There Is No Spoon - No Wait, Yes There Is

Spoon was a character from the Film Dog Soldiers. He epitomises to me what a British squaddie is. I have him in mind for a character in the X-Com game. With just a dash of Mad Jack Churchill (the last British Soldier to kill someone with a longbow). He also always went into battle with a broadsword. So this is the model...

And This is what the character looked like in the film.
This should make the perfect soldier for X-Com, at least as I see it. I think I will have some fun designing his character for Savage Worlds.

Sticking With Things And Four Hundred Blog Posts

It just stuck me that I have just managed to hit four hundred posts. My first thought when I realised this was not to give myself a slap on the back, It was, can I hit five hundred posts this year? This tells me that I still have some enthusiasm for doing this. The year, at least in terms of blog posting (sigh) is going okay. I managed to put up as many posts in January as I did in the whole of last year.

I had meant to start blogs several times and never got round to it. I thought that I would start it and get bored quickly. I am now a shade of having done this for four years. This means my mojo is with me. third post today. I have more work to post so I guess the chance that I might get to five hundred posts this year is still there.

Maybe six hundred. What do you think?

X-Com - Billy Sole?

Who? Billy Sole was the Native American tracker in Predator. I thought picking some familiar characters. This is not to mention that Mad Robot do so heads that look like the characters. I got a bag full of spare parts for the Guard this morning so I need less in the way of home molded bits.

Being a scout, Billy gets to have some different equipment. The two big equipment changes were that he carried a big knife (if the bayonets were not big enough) and a master key. So his character will carry less ammunition.

In the film he started out bush hat but ends up with a bandanna when he went a bit peculiar just before his death. Mad Robot has a bandana head so I guess I'll go with that,

This will probably sit on the side for a bit, until I get the head at least.

Old Soldiers Never Die - They Just End Up Working For X-Com

No painting today. That said, I have spent some time playing around with the Imperial Guard who are starting to look very un-Guardlike. At the moment they may be more special than special forces but the team are on their way.

To stop the players from having a small team of the world's best forces I have had to come up with an idea.Instead of making everyone legendary, the aliens can mind control just about everyone. In the game about seven thousand people that are not completely susceptible to alien mind control. These are obviously not all soldiers scientists and engineers. Many of them are too old or too young to fight. These are desperate times. There are some soldiers available but for the most part they are stuck with civilians. This will cause some interesting interactions I hope.

Anyway, I have spent the day working on some more minis. I have another four minis to go at. Plenty of green stuff here. Some of it is molded and some in sculpted (mainly molded). I have changed another blade as I have been doing a lot of chopping and changing. I have walked away from a few things that did not seem to be going my way. For the most part they don't look too much like Imperial Guard.

I got another pack of second hand stuff today, some heavy weapons. I have used the rocket launcher from the pack and trimmed it down. I'll show you that when I have managed to get it attached properly. There are a few ideas I have for using the rest of the kits. I can see another corpse or two, some more military zombies, officers and some more troops in the next few days.
The first two figures are X-Com troopers. Mostly, these are stuff I got cheap on eBay. The female head is from Statuesque and I have no idea where the male head is from, I just have it. Again trying to give the minis a sense of individuality. There is still some more green stuff needed, especially the one on the right. The idea that I want they to look a bit battered is coming through nicely.
Still more work in progress (note the missing head). They headless trooper is carrying a heavy shotgun. It used to be a rifle and the front end is a flamer. I saw something like it on the web but have changed it around for my own purpose. I need another one and I am planning something a bit more complicated. I would like to make a figure that looks like Billy Sole from Predator (the actor was also a porn star and ran for governor of Kentucky so must be a good character). He had a M16 with a master key underneath it. I will see if I can make that work.

There is more work in progress but I'll put that up when it looks a little more finished.