You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Zombicide: Survivor with mojo

Here's a painted copy of Thiago I managed to snag. I kept with thew 60s/Austin Powers theme and painted him up with some godaweful pastel flowers. Green pants and white accents complete the tacky ensemble.

The face was difficult; the figures are tall, but the faces seem tiny and the detail a touch flat -- at least on this figure. I may go back and see what I can do to fix it. I also find it a little difficult to paint around those glasses. Still, the overall effect of the figure turned out fine for me.

The pattern is actually quite easy. I first painted the base color of the shirt (storm blue.) Then I chose some good Easter/pastel colors and painted the flower petals -- there was no pattern to laying them out, just start filling up space on his shirt. Then I did the flower centers with either a bright orange or a light blue. Finally, I painted random tiny splotches of light green to fill in those random areas where I couldn't fit small enough flowers.

I may do a few more figures with heavily patterned shirts to add to Thiago and my Joshua as a team for some  pvp action.

(Note: In keeping with the Austin Power's theme, I also painted the gun silver after I took this photo.)

A couple priming notes

So I found some of my Zombicide figures to be a little tacky. I'm not sure if they had been figures I used a different primer on (Army Painter) or if the figures had a slightly different plastic recipe or what, but I brushed on some acrylic sealer, and that seemed to do the trick.

This latest pair (I also have a Kyoko) also turned up a little tacky after priming with the usual Testors Flat Black, but it has also been a humid day, so that could also be a major factor.
In any case, after priming, once the primer has dried as dry as it will go, a layer of brushed-on acrylic paint (or sealer) usually solves the problem. I will also try a a thin layer of dullcote over a test figure to see if that helps. But first, i have to wait for the humidity to go down (It's been bad lately.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Some Kickstarter news

Here are a few Kickstarter campaigns some of you might be interested in. One interesting concept, an expansion by a solid KS retailer, and one mega campaign. Check'em out!

"Hostage Negotiator."
In "Hostage Negotiator," you play a negotiator trying to talk down an abductor while saving hostages. You do this via conversation cards, trying to lower the "threat  level track," among other things (dice, hand-building, words) -- OK, OK, OK -- so I haven't really read all the rules just yet; honestly, I saw "solo" and I saw the original gaming concept of "hostage negotiation," and I said yes.

I'm a big solo gamer, but I also enjoy a great theme, so this was almost a no-brainer for me (I still glanced at the rules before pledging, but they seem solid enough, especially for the low entry point of $20.)

There is a link to the rules from the KS campaign site, so I urge you to check it out, even if you don't plan on pledging.

Flashpoint: Fire Rescue
Also just starting is another Flashpoint: Fire Rescue expansion called "Call of Duty." This is a double-sided map expansion that includes a burning plane and a subway disaster and markers to play the boards.

The KS also offers a new specialist card AND another gameboard with alternative basement and attic sides (not available with retail version of the expansion.) This is another low-cost KS, with an entry point of $15 (which nabs the maps and card.)

The Flashpoint expansion KS only lasts for 14 days, so don't wait too long.

Zombicide 3
Love'em or hate'em, this campaign is doing amazing. Honestly, it doesn't need help, but I put it here JUST in case you forgot it was going on. I enjoy the game, but I also love having that horde of zombies and survivors that I can use for other games (All Things Zombie, After the Horsemen, and Zed or Alive, for example.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Samurai: Swordsmen and gangs

Here are the last of my samurai for a while. One is one of the newer unarmored bandits. I've given him a paint job with plenty of red in it after deciding to put together a samurai gang based around the color (see below.)

This figure took a little bit of conversion work to finish. First, he has received a new head (that of a mad man; who better to lead on of the gangs?) I pounded out a nodachi for him and sculpted a new hand so that his hold is correct. The pose works great! (And yes, that's a head on the ground near his feet.) I went with some improvisation on the designs of the kimono and haori, but making sure there was red in the scheme (yep- leader of the Red Gang.)

These will be the last of the samurai figures for while (unless I come into some more money to commission some more, or manage to clear out a bunch of other minis -- By the way, my 42mm bushi are still for sale.) These gangs have almost doubled the size of my samurai collection, which remains my favorite.

The Collection

Here are my Edo gangs and all of my other factions for partaking in small skirmishes. The peasants can be used to beef up the gangs or to combine with the monks for a nice-sized Ikko Ikki gang.

The Red Gang

The Pretty Boys
The War Veterans

The Peasants, led, by a couple of priests

Every samurai collection needs some monks.

Lord Hiroto and retainers
The ronin
An older photo, but I still love my ninja.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Samurai: Partially armored spearmen

Here are the last two copies of the latest Steve Barber 42mm samurai sculpt I have. I gave them armored heads (helmet and jingasa,) and dropped a yari in their hands. This is an easy figure to convert; the heads come separate, and the hands are open to accept any weapon you choose to arm the warrior with.

Below is the base figure (center) available in Steve's catalogue as well as two conversions. The conversions are very easy (just new heads and weapons,) though, I had to create my own nodachi.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Samurai: Bandit with nodachi

This is the same sculpt as the last figure, but with a new head (turned) and a new weapon (nodachi.) I like how just those two small changes make for a good variant. Not much to say about these except that this new sculpt brings a bit of new character to the gangs. A couple more figures to go, and then I'll post some nice group shots of my full gangs.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Samurai: Armored Bandit

Here's the latest sculpt available from Steve Barber Models. It comes with a separate head and small tetsubo. You can easily replace the tetsubo with a yari or naginata.

I enjoy painting this figure; he went fast and looks good even with a simple scheme. I have three more copies of this figure (all with different heads and/or weapons.) They'll be making an appearance in the days to come.

This particular figure will be going into the ranks of my Edo gangs, but, with a long spear and head wearing either a helmet or jingasa (or even bare head), this sculpt would fit in nicely in the ranks of ashigaru.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Pulp hero

Nothing major, just a random figure I pulled from the lead mountain. This is a Copplestone figure from his Back of Beyond Range; I believe it's from the Russian Sailors Command, but I painted him to just be a random hero/character to add to my collection of pulp figures.

The new samurai are all primed. Everything has been moving slow because I've also been working heavily with my 2D art (pen and ink, and watercolors.) But the samurai will certainly get painted.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Red Samurai

My new shipment of samurai from Steve Barber arrived today, and while clearing off the table, I discovered this guy sitting off to the side with a partial paint job. So I finished him during a rainy afternoon.
This figure is actually a conversion of a samurai who is drawing his katana.

I kept the palette simple with two colors -- red and white. The red came out lovely, and I almost left the figure entirely in red. But I wanted him to be just a little more garish to fit in with the Edo gangs. So I painted up a simple fern pattern along the hems of the hakama and haori.

The new shipment includes a new sculpt. I'll try to get him painted up later this week. After this next batch is painted up, I'll have plenty to do some samurai gang battles.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

When dinosaurs rode the earth

Yes, I'm still on a dinosaur kick. They're fun and easy to draw (and easy to sell!) I've slowed down for now while I resupply myself with new art supplies (it's surprisingly difficult to find ink for my technical pens in my town.)

When the new samurai arrive at my doorstep, I'll probably switch over to those. In the meantime, I still have a primed brachiosaurus towering over my painting table.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fun dinosaur paintings

This small collection is now in the hands of friends of mine (to be hung in the bedroom of their three -- soon to be four -- young sons.) These are all 11x15 inch watercolors with pen brush lining. I think I'll make some for myself, now.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dino repaint: Nigersaurus

This is nigersaurus (by Safari Ltd.) It is a small sauropod from the middle Cretceous period. The dinosaur (not this toy -- thank goodness) had 500 teeth arrayed in a wide mouth.

Just like the gryposaurus, I wanted to keep this paint scheme simple, hence the uniform gray all around. Still, I wanted to make the model pop just a little, so I painted the spines red, which makes for a nice accent.

The original paint job on this guy was actually quite nice, and I debated whether to repaint him at all. In the end, I'm enjoying painting these models, so he got added to the queue.

I have a pachycephalosaurus on the table and a brachiosaurus getting primed, so yes, more to come!

Note: I reverted back to the Army Painter/Testors Flat Black combo. I think the Flat Black/Craft paint combo I used on the gryposaurus works; I just think it was rubbing off of the gryposaur because I forgot to wash him. Another part of painting these dinos is that I scrub them down with water and Simple Green to get all the dust and oils (from playtime) off of them before priming.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dino repaint: Gryposaurus

This is the Gryposaurus by Safari Ltd (1:40 scale; 40mm figure in photo for scale.) It's a great model of a nice hadrosaur, which, honestly, I had never heard of until I saw him at the store.

Hadrosaurs are my favorite, but it's difficult to find some nice ones in this scale. There are certainly a few, but not as good as this one (and the Schleich Parasuarolophus.) A lot of them have great sculpting on the body, with nice wrinkles and texture, but they fall flat with the head, which is usually simplified and lacking much texture. Not this gryposaurus; look at that neck and head.

On this dino, I used the priming combination of Testors Flat Black follwed by a layer of black craft paint to kill the tackiness. I managed to rub off a couple areas while painting, so this combination is less effective than the other I used (Army Painter Primer followed by Testors) seemed to hold up pretty well, so I'll probably go back to that.

A lot- A LOT of dinosaur toys these days are getting flashier and flashier paint jobs, so I decided to tone this guy down a bunch. He still got some tail stripes, but in muted colors. And I still gave him a flash of color on his face, so that he can make a display to attract a mate. (Perhaps his display is to puff out his nasal passage to show off his red face.)

This was a fun dino to paint; I might get another, unless I can find a different species of hadrosaur that fits my personal tastes. I'm not sure what dino to paint next, but I have a few options. I guess you'll find out what's next when I post it.