Tuesday 28 October 2014

And Now for Something Completely Different

Apart from wargaming just about every period imaginable, I'm also rather keen on old school Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying, especially the original Basic edition of the game. When you couple that with enjoying the odd bit of desktop publishing you get stuff like this...

I've been Dungeon Mastering games of D&D since I was about 12 years old and have written the odd bit and bob before but never had a go at producing a fully fledged published module. I decided it was about time I gave it a go, so with help from Ev (editorial) and Nug (cover and interior art) I produced some proper dungeon crawl cheese. I even managed to con my wife and kids into playtesting it for me which was about the best fun I've ever had.

If you're interested it's available on DriveThruRPG. Download a copy and let me know what you think.


Sunday 26 October 2014

Epic Squat Project Update

This was supposed to be a Paint Table Saturday post but I was called away on a search and rescue op with the fire brigade at short notice. Instead of painting I got to have a very, very long walk yesterday over some incredibly rough terrain in the heat. 8+ hours of near constant walking, climbing, navigating and searching through the bush all the while. I'm feeling it today but that's to be expected. It takes it's toll on the fittest of us, especially those pushing 45 years.

Easy enough to get lost in. Harder to get found in...

Anyway, so that means this will have to be an Epic Squat Project update post instead. Great progress this week with the mojo well and truly discovered and returned to full service...

Artillery, air support, fast attack and infantry with transports

Two sets of gyrocopters and an airship. Another two airships to go.

Warrior brotherhood and spartan transports

Hearthguard and robot cadre

I also got my first order from Warbases which helped move things along. Unfortunately I was somewhat boneheaded in the execution thereof and ordered the wrong sized bases for infantry.
A second order has been placed and despatched so no a major hold up.

This week I've also managed to win a bunch of fleaBay auctions for termites, a few infantry bits and bobs, a leviathan, a colossus plus spotter plane and another two airships which seriously fills out holes in my war engines and transport. Still looking for moles, a hellbore, a cyclops, a pair of thunderfires and another goliath. If you have some and want to sell or trade speak up!

That's just about it from me apart from taking time to welcome rct75001, Tarty, Clint, Brian English and Dannoc. Great to have you aboard!

And a final shout out to my lovely, talented wife whose wonderful painted fabric entry took out first place in the textile and craft section of this year's Blue Fringe Arts Compo yesterday.


Wednesday 15 October 2014

The Epic Squat Project

If that headline isn't enough to to make you wonder what you're in for clicking the link then I don't know what would. Fortunately for yours truly Google is smart enough to work out what I mean when I type "Epic Squats".

Not these EPIC squats! The other ones!

OK, so anyone who hangs around me or has read the blog for a while knows I have a soft spot for the left-field and/or less popular faction from any given game system or genre. That being the case, if a collection of models was produced by Games Workshop in the late 80s to early 90s and is now loooong OOP, plus the race behind the models was subsequently (and unfairly!) killed off in their 40K fluff I'm more than likely going to be interested.

That brings us to the Squats in Epic Armageddon, GWs mass combat game that was so specialist and so popular and so *not* 40K it had to die. Squats eh? Dead race? Tick! Long OOP? Tick! Hard to find? Tickety-tick! Comparatively expensive to collect? Tickety-flipping-tick! Never actually an official list even though they made the models? Tickety-tickety-dang-tickety-boo! Heck, they've got the lot! Like a Labrador outside a pie factory on baking day there was zero chance I was going to be distracted by something else once I came across these wee chaps...

Anyway, over the last couple of weeks I've been faffing about the painting table desperately searching for my mojo and guess what? I found it painting little hairy space men and their over-compensatingly large vehicles and weapons red-white-black. Here's a sample...

That's better. Although the buns were admittedly rather nice...

So this is the beginning of yet another slightly mad project. Once I get a shipment of bases from Martin and Diane at Warbases I will really kick into it but for now I'm just enjoying myself again at last. Stay tuned!

PS. Yes that *is* Snow White painted on the nose of the airship 1940's bomber style. What else would Space Dwarves [ahem!] Squats paint on there?


Thursday 9 October 2014

Soooooo........ Reaper Bones...

If you've not heard of Reaper Miniatures' "Bones" project you may well be the last person alive who hasn't. Since it was launched it has been something of a phenomenon. Yours truly was sorely tempted by the Kickstarter but in the end resisted. I'm glad I did. Read on for why...

Last week I thought I'd give Bones a stab and duly picked up a handful on the cheap whilst at MOAB. Some where unwanted figs from someone else's Kickstarter, some where from the blister range. Having now spent a bit of time with them I've got some seriously mixed feelings and thought I'd share them to see what people think and what kind of opinion others have of the Bones range....

POSITIVE. This one's a winner obviously. You can't argue with a list price around 50% (or less) or the equivalent miniature in pewter. What's not to like?

Detail Level
POSITIVE. Again, a winner. Despite the fact they are plastic the detail is right up there and I've found there is no discernible difference between the plastic and the pewter.

POSITIVE. As they are for the most part copies of existing Reaper Minis and therefore from the same stable of sculptors the miniatures are as a rule quite lovely sculpts. Lots of character, interesting poses and not too bad scale-wise. OK, some are gigantic but I could see that before I bought them.

Plastic Material
NEGATIVE. They're bendy. Like seriously bendy. Much bendier than I had expected. Which is fine for the majority of the miniature but I found removing mold lines a pain. Painting small or thin parts like weapons and belts was also seriously tedious as the miniature flexed away from even the gentlest brush strokes making a smooth finish very difficult to achieve.

Why Are They Standing on a Soap Box?
NEGATIVE. The bases are thick. Amongst the thickest I've seen for some time and out of step with what the majority of manufacturers are capable of. I've had to apply gloop around the base to avoid a noticeable step between the figure and the rest of the base. Something I never normally have to do and which just added more time.

Applying Paint
NEGATIVE. This one's the killer. I read plenty about prep beforehand and am generally quite careful. Unfortunately despite that my preferred enamel spray primer remained extremely tacky no matter how long I left it. This lead to a lot of bleeding and certain brands of paint, especially Citadel, to require multiple coats. In one case even a fifth coat of paint still cracked the following day. Now I've heard tell you can apply paint directly to the plastic but why would you if you really like to paint? My preferred primer gives a consistent, smooth surface which paint adheres to really well and which helps me produce a consistent standard at a great pace. Note: To be fair regards cracking and bleeding, the current Citadel paint range is also awful and I'm replacing them but still other paints like Vallejo and P3 had similar issues...

EDIT: I've just taken some photos of how easily the paint rubs off. One good swipe of my thumb and my golem is back to bare plastic.

Paint rubs off easily. Most likely a primer issue but why the issue to begin with?

Paint cracks and bleeds over time. This is just a couple of days. How about a week from now? A month? A year?

Over all, NEGATIVE. I'm NOT a fan. I didn't enjoy painting them, all the extra effort extended the time required considerably and in the end the result is nothing I can't get from metal or traditional plastics. If I worked out a cost benefit then my time lost cost a lot more than I saved in the purchase price.

Who else has painted them and what do you think? I'm really curious to see if I'm the only one who is more than a little underwhelmed.

PS. A rant for a 300th post? Sure, why not :-)


Wednesday 8 October 2014

6mm Sci-Fi Terrain

I've been scratching about looking for projects or even just odd jobs to try and win back a bit of modelling mojo.

I'm slowly getting there and when I couldn't sleep this morning the following items of terrain for 6mm sci-fi / Epic Armageddon got completed at long last. They are made entirely from wombled items from my terrain bits box, including lids, tyres, gears, pipes, plastic nuts and even a toy chest.

Power generators / reactors / things that might explode

Command bunkers / ammo stores / things that might also explode

Not too shabby for something that cost next to nothing, took very little effort and which I enjoyed putting together and painting. In terms of the generators there is little to identify the scale so the can easily be used anywhere up to 28mm too.

In other news I've also been working on some fantasy miniatures I picked up last weekend at MOAB in Sydney including some Reaper Bones. I've got mixed feelings regards those but an explanation can wait til I post the finished items.

Lastly, I've just realised this is the 77th post this year which equals last year's total. It looks like we might break the 100 post mark this year for the first time and as we're currently sitting on 197 followers I'd say we'll break the 200 mark there as well. To everyone who pops by or follows a big thanks.

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