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.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Machinas wip: Sun up and Sun down

The Sun Valley started like this
When they're finished, I'll explain their names (Sun Up and Sun Down) when I describe their background. But these (along with my ram car) will represent a new class of car, namely, one that is unarmed -- Again, the reasoning will be explained when the cars are finished.

And has progressed to this
The Ford Fairlane (the gray car) will simply have the chopped top and the body leveled off just like my ram car. Though, instead of a small pilothouse, I think I'll just do a periscope of some sort. This car will also have a ram but without spikes (so more like Col. Jack's Special.)

The Fairlane will also have some straight pipes coming up through the hood.

I sort of bumbled into the way the Mercury Sun Valley (the green car) came out. I cut off the top and set it aside. Then, while figuring out how to make this car different, I grabbed the chopped top and see how it would look fit back on. It sit nicely on the car body, with the post "grabbing" the inside to hold the top into place. And it didn't look half bad. It's actually turned around in the photo with the rear window facing forward. So I glued it down.

I used green stuff to strengthen the posts and blend the top into the body. And yes, it has that neat El Camino effect, with a nice large cargo bay (or area for a large machine gun mount or missile or mortar tubes) but I'm sticking to my original idea which will involve covering that large hole and blending it into the body. BUT, I will file away the "El Camino" look for later, because I do like how that looks.

I will also give the Mercury a pair of stovepipe exhausts (like Col. Jack's Special.) But I'm not sure if I'll have the pipes straight up or if I'll try something a little different and slant them back to give the car a more "speedy" look. I'll figure it out when I get the pipes built.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Machinas: Colonel Jack's Special

The Paint

I liked the idea offered up of doing both black and tan, but I wasn't sure how to go about merging the two colors. I looked through images of hot rods seeing if there was a scheme that I could copy, and I found one where the two colors were separated by a diagonal line just off the halfway mark on the car. But I still wanted something a little different. It was just a matter of a few doodles before I hit upon my little "Dusty Trail" scheme.

I wanted something "cool" (the black with chrome), but I also wanted something practical, such as a camouflaging color (some tan/desert yellow.) I took a little inspiration from motion camouflage seen on WWII warships, where a wave was painted on the bow to make the ship look like it was moving. Instead of a wave, I painted the dust getting kicked up.

I really enjoyed putting this car and background together. Since I have plenty of factions, I think any future cars I get will be purchased, converted and painted individually, so I can focus and put more thought and effort into their creation.

Colonel Jack's Special

Col. Jack's Special is owned by a man who named himself after Col. Jack, a character from Mark Twain's "Roughing It," (one of the famous ancient books discovered by the Seven Hills Church.) In the book (as far as I can remember), Col. Jack, a man off the frontier, took a bus (horse-drawn) through New York City. The ride fascinated him, so he paid the driver $20 to drive him and his friend Col. John all over the city. Jack told anyone who got on the bus that he had paid their fare and that they should sit back and enjoy the ride. Jack was entertained by the variety of people he met on the ride, which continued for the rest of the day.

My Col. Jack's Special has a variety of uses. Mostly, Col. Jack serves as a low-cost charter for Wastelanders. The only drawback to hiring Col. Jack is that he is only one man with one car, so finding him is difficult. But when you do manage to hire his services, you're treated to a fine ride, indeed.

When he's not transporting folks across the wastes, Col. Jack loads his car with supplies and explores the fringes of the Known Wasteland. He carries as much survey equipment as he can (note the red/white survey rods seen on the left side of the baggage). Since he is one of the few people willing to travel far and wide to map the wastes, the Church gives him a larger fuel allotment than is usually given out.

For better fuel economy, ruggedness and torque, Col. Jack runs a diesel engine, hence the stovepipe on the left of the car. He has also discovered, on a couple of his runs, a wide but shallow river, which, for a long time, prevented him from exploring a section of the western wastes, so the car's engine compartment was sealed and a snorkel was added.

Most people in the Known Wasteland like Col. Jack, but there are still those marauders who will take a shot at him now and again, so he keeps a large slab of armor to protect his rear, and a push bar to clear barricades and other road obstructions. He also has extra armor on the wheels and the windscreen (though, I left the armor off the side windows to help preserve some of the car's original lines.) And, of course, Col. Jack mounts twin .50s, because he understands that even his gentle nature needs the support of a little extra firepower sometimes.

Col. Jack has never raced in a Church-sanctioned event (he is still called Col. Jack, after all, and not Brother Pilot.) But he is known to join in a random Waste Race now and again. He prefers more friendly races where there is more nudging and bumping than all-out shooting.

Racing Col. Jack in a game

If you want to run Col. Jack's Special in a race, here are his stats (copy these down later for when the rules are released. If you want, I can stat out more special characters in the future, though, I think you'll enjoy making your own.)


Col. Jack's Special
Savvy: 6
Tech: 5
Speed: 4

Driver Signatures
Focused
Scouter
Off Roader
Pathfinder

Car Features
Well Built
Tuned Up
Inspected Ammo
Angled Armor
Twin .50s
.357


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Machinas: Col. Jack's Special wip


After finishing the last of my cars, I was already feeling a little withdrawal, so I picked up this '54 Chevy Bel Air. It's another M2 Machine (from the Auto-thentics line.)

Instead of converting this car to be used with one of the factions, I decided this would be my "personal" car -- the car I would drive as a player during games of Machinas. So I decided to outfit it as I would a real car in the Wasteland (with a few liberties.)

I had to make a little bit of background to explain a couple things, and I'll share that when the car is finished (though, Colonel Jack is a character in Mark Twain's "Roughing It," one of the books found by the Church at 7602 Oak Street -- for those who follow the Machinas background.) But I will explain how I built a couple things.

The stovepipe exhaust is a thick piece of brass rod slipped into some brass tubing which was bent to fit into a hole I drilled out of the car body. The snorkel on the right was made using the same brass tubing capped off with the air filter canister that I took out of the engine compartment.

The push bar and metal slab are plasticard. For the wraparound bends of the push bar, I used a lighter to warm up the plastic and bend it into shape.

The guns use the same construction I've used for all my other .50s -- brass rod, plastic tubing and cut pieces of plastic sprue.

The baggage was set onto the body and then sculpted (out of green stuff) straight onto the car. When the green stuff cured, I "peeled" the baggage from the car; this formed a mold of the car body so that the baggage would fit perfectly back onto the car after I added a bit of superglue.

Part of the baggage includes a spare .50 machine gun, and some survey sticks (part of the varied background of this car.)

I had some green stuff left over, so I added armored covers to all the wheels.

I'm still not sure what color to paint Col. Jack's Special. I'm trying to decided between black for the "cool" factor, and a desert yellow for the "practical" factor. Or maybe desert yellow with black flame job? Or all-rust like my Runnin' Gunners for a more "realistic" look. I'll figure something out.






Sunday, March 24, 2013

Machinas: The Runnin' Gunners


Here's my new favorite faction, the Runnin' Gunners. The American Indian-inspired markings turned out the way I had envisioned them.

After the markings were painted, I gave all the cars a drybrushing of light tan for dust. This dusting all helps to blend everything together (rust, markings, and replaced body panels.)

Next up are two more cars for my Black Tops, and the plow car for my Vestal Mechanics. After those,  I guess I'll get in a couple more races/chases.

Then maybe it's time for a piece of scenery or two. I was thinking of a couple things: A simple stone wall to run along one side of the track (which would serve an actual function), and/or a set of toll booths to sit along the back end of the track (which would only serve to dress up the track, but still be fun to build.)

Machinas: Runnin' Gunners wip


Just a quick pic of my Runnin' Gunners faction. The main color of the faction will indeed by all rust. But I will add a little bit of random color here and there via replaced fenders or body panels. And to change things up, I will also be adding (in white) some (American) Indian horse markings. Coup marks, horse raid marks, society marks, lightning patterns, etc.

For the rust here, I used the technique I described in my video last week. This time around, I used a much larger brush (though, still with a lot of fine bristles.) I also went in with a smaller brush and added some bare/scratched metal.

Once this batch is done, I'll post a small gallery of all my Machinas factions -- Slade's Silvers, Seven Hills Circus, Vestal Mechanics, The Black Tops (use to be the Big'uns) and these Runnin' Gunners.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Machinas: Big'un wip

... and as promised, here's my last car, the lead car for my Big'uns faction. All the Big'uns have quad .50s. I used a lot of green stuff on this car (and it's now the heaviest in my collection.) To achieve the sharp leading edge on the huge gun fairing, I waited for the green stuff to cure, and then I used a long sculpey-cutting tool to shave off the front in one piece. (This cutting tool resembles a long straight razor blade.)

So next up is priming and painting. I'll also have to clean off my table ... Maybe I should get another couple cars before I clear away all the armor and weapons I have strewn about....

Machinas: Runnin' Gunners, and others wip

Here's my current progress. The cars languished on the table for a few days, but once I got some guns built and some rocket tubes cut, things just started coming together.

The car with the plow on the front will go to my Vestal Mechanics faction (the church faction.) The plow blade is just a piece of plastic heated up and roughly bent into shape- I wanted the rough shape instead of a nice straight plow. It's the one car with a "turret" mount that doesn't swivel.

The rocket car was pretty straightforward: I put a bunch of tubes all over it. You can see the six main rocket tubes in the front window. There are also two twin launchers on the back set at an angle. I think Slade's Silvers could use this car for its long-range abilities.

Then there are my three gun cars forming the core of my newest faction, The Runnin' Gunners, who have light armament but are faster movers for it, hence, the name. They'll join up with my other all-gun faction, The Big'uns (made up of three cars all armed with quad .50s.) I'm not sure what color scheme they'll have; I might just do them saturated in rust, with maybe a random fender or body part in a contrasting color.

One of the Big'uns is my last car still on the work bench. It's getting some major body work right now; green stuff is curing. I should have a photo of that beast in a day or two.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Machinas: WIP Calliope and Simple Chevy

'57 Chevy Bel Air with hood-mounted twin .50s, and a Desoto Adventurer tricked out from here to Heaven. A couple
of my extra machine guns there are drum-fed to break up the monotony.

Here are a couple of the cars in progress. (The guns on the Chevy are only dry-fit, hence their lowered aim.)

All of the guns were made using brass rod for the barrels, plastic tubing for the muzzles and cooling jackets, and plastic sprue for the receivers. At such a small scale, I don't mind my receivers being that smooth/simple (no bolts, ejector ports etc.) I also switched to plastic sprue (from bass wood) because it's easier to control the pen vise when drilling out a hole for the gun barrels. The sprue is also much more sturdy.

I did the Desoto Adventurer (right) first, adding a larger engine, big exhaust pipes, rocket tubes and a couple machine guns up front. With that many pipes on this car -- all of them noise makers -- I had to name the vehicle "Calliope."

Since Calliope has so much going on, I decided to go simple with my next car, the 57 Chevy. The Bel Air only has a couple guns mounted on the hood. I'll armor up the front and rear windows, but otherwise, there'll be no more modifications to the Chevy.

In fact, I like the simple look of the Chevy enough that I'm going to do a couple more cars with just hood or roof-mounted guns. In Machinas, one of the more common armaments are twin .50s, so having a few cars armed as such fits right along with the game.

Don't worry, the car I have planned after the three gunners, has a snowplow scoop mounted up front as a ram (and as a scoop; the car will go to my church faction, which is responsible for digging out and repairing newly found Infernals.) Maybe I'll throw a couple rocket tubes on it, too.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Machinas: The showroom floor


My shipment of new cars arrived today, so I thought I'd show a couple shots of how beautiful these cars are before I apocalyze them. These are all M2 Machine "Auto-thentic" cars. These are the more expensive models, but Hot Wheels has a lack of pre-1960 cars in stores right now. Even still, I prefer these beauties.

Suede interiors; polished chrome wheel covers, grills, highlights and bumpers; acrylic lacquer paint; whitewall tires; powerful V6, V8 and hemi engines; elegant body lines and smooth styling ... All soon to be replaced with rust, dust and guns.

It's almost a shame to run these through an apocalypse ... almost.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Painting rust- the quick and dirty

I had a car hood sitting around, so I just decided to throw together my rust tutorial off the cuff.
This rust technique isn't the best, but it works and it doesn't take a lot of time:

video

Machinas: Tools, parts and rust tutorial coming up

Tools of the trade
All the parts and supplies you should need. This is more
 than  enough for two or three cars
Ok, not too much text info for you here; I just wanted to share a couple photos, one showing the pile of tools I use for converting my Machinas cars, and a photo of a sample pile of parts I use when deciding what to do with a car.

Tools include things for cutting, bending, filing, shaping, marking and drilling.

Parts include stripped-out interiors, dashboards, hoods, exhaust pipes, engines, tubes for missiles and rockets, brass rod for gun barrels, hatches, stowage, cable and other random parts that have yet to become what-I-don't-know.

Video!

I finally tried out the video function on my camera! It was easier than I thought it would be (though, I'll have to see how uploading to Blogger goes.) SO, when I get my next car built (and as long as I can upload the video to Blogger), I will show - by popular request - a short tutorial on how I rust and weather my cars.

Video could lead to more short tutorials (though, it depends on how much money I have to spend on batteries- My camera is an electricity hog.) I might also do a short tutorial on how to play Machinas; There are lots of video ideas and opportunities out there, but for now, I'll focus on building a car so that I can get that rust tutorial done.

Machinas: Seven Hills Circus faction


My second team/faction, the Seven Hills Circus is complete. It includes one of my older, repainted pickups (outfitted with a new gun,) as well as my Chrysler 300c "gunship." I think I'll stick with the gunship moniker even though I have three or four cars that outgun the Chrysler (in fact, I have a heavy weapons faction ((The Highway Thunderers)) featuring two cars each with quad .50s, and one with a large gatling.)

The checkers on the gunship were easy to do. After the car was primed (black), I drew the checks on with a pencil. Then it was just a matter of painting in the white checks. I drybrushed my rust and dust to help blend the checks into the hood (to give them a faded look.)

I still have 7 cars soon to convert and paint, along with a couple new weapon configuration ideas to try out. I'll use the new cars to fill out a couple of my other teams. (I gutted a few teams to provide potential cars as giveaways for the Machinas Kickstarter.) I also picked up some brass tubing to make a few more rocket and missile tubes, something that's been lacking on my last few cars.

I hope to get the new cars finished faster than slower; my friend Jeff tells me that the Reaper Bones kickstart figures are shipping soon. That's going to be a lot of painting. But that's OK; Jeff is my patron, buying all the bases, static grass and greens stuff I need, in return for painting up the few random figures here and there for his D&D campaigns.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Machinas: Seven Hills Circus wip


Nope, sorry, not a circus; the Seven Hills Circus is just the name I've given my latest faction, which is still in progress. Here are the first two cars.

The blue car is my Ford "Firelane," complete with a large flamethrower and appropriate paint job.

The other car is my ram car (not named yet.) A simple car needs a simple paint job; I love how the gray/red turned out.

I have a pickup and my Chrysler 300 gunship yet to paint and add to the Circus team. I also have the other 6 cars in the mail (+1 more I picked up today ... sigh, maybe I have a problem... Nope.)

And yes, that's an exposed gasoline tank for the flamethrower. Why? Why not.

Machinas: Chase report

Ed has posted a nice chase report for an After the Horsemen/Machinas crossover game.

His report offers some more detailed insight into the rules of Machinas. Also, this chase is through the wasteland on an unpredictable road; the report shows how to map out a course as well as bring it to an end.
Read it here. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Machinas: What brand of cars to use?

Vehicles here are mostly Hot Wheels, but there are a few Johnny Lightning and M2 Machines to fill out the collection.

There are countless scales and manufacturers to choose from to play Machinas, but I will focus on just a few that I use, Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning and M2 Machines - all 1:64 scale.

Something I don't mention in the descriptions below is that all my cars are pre-1960 models. In the Machinas background, the (nuclear) apocalypse occurred in 1959. So if you want a more authentic Machinas experience, use only car models from 1959 and older. My personal favorite below for availability of pre-1960 models is M2 Machines; their Auto-thentics line is almost entirely made up of cars from before 1960.

Hot Wheels

If you want to start playing, and I mean NOW, you have two choices: raid your kid's toy box, or head to Kmart and grab a few cars. Hot Wheels have been an American mainstay for 45 years, and of all your 1:64 die cast choices, Hot Wheels will be the cheapest and the most plentiful.

'53 Chevy custom. From the Hot Wheels Wiki
There are cars for almost every year in the history of the automobile, of all sizes, types and walks of life. And Hot Wheels is always releasing new cars, and if not new cars, then repaints of older or popular cars. Hot Wheels also has a few side brands such as Boulevard, which features new models with rubber tires and paint jobs. My first few cars actually came from the Boulevard range.

The only thing I don't like about Hot Wheels is that the bodies and frames are riveted together, and the only way to get them apart is with a Dremel tool and a steady hand. If all you're going to do is glue weapons to the body, then - rivets be damned - Hot Wheels is your best choice.

Pros: Cheap, available, NUMEROUS choices to pick from
Cons: Difficult to convert if you don't have the right tools

Matchbox

Matchbox cars, now owned by Mattel, were introduced by British company Lesney in 1953. In the U.S. these cars are about as easy to find as Hot Wheels.

Matchbox checkered cab. From the Matchbox wiki
I think the diversity of choices and the quality of the "sculpts" is just a notch below Hot Wheels, but if you're looking to fill out your collection, Matchbox helps to expand you list of choices once you've exhausted for Hot Wheel wants.

I don't actually have any Matchbox cars in my collection, so I can't comment on the construction and conversion possibilities.

Pros: Everything about Hot Wheels is just the same with Matchbox
Cons(?): Quality of the sculpts might be a touch less than Hot Wheels, (but really not enough to make a difference, in my opinion), not an as expansive choice as Hot Wheels

Johnny Lightning

Johnny Lightning cars were released in direct response to the instant popularity of Hot Wheels. Topper, the founding company, unfortunately went under in 1971. But the Johnny Lightning cars were reintroduced in the mid 1990s.

'57 Buick custom. This was one of my very first
Machinas cars. Copyright RC2 Corp.
These cars are slightly more difficult to find, though Walmart seems to carry a few now and then. The sculpts are better than Hot Wheels but the actual construction feels a touch flimsy to me. For example, the wheels seem to have a little bit of "rattle" to them due to the axles having a lot of give space. This isn't a deal-breaker with me, these cars might not do well on a plastic track, but they work just fine for Machinas. (None of mine have fallen apart- and the rattle doesn't faze me.)

'71 Chevy Chevelle ready to chase down the
Nightrider. Copyright RC2 Corp.
Still, there are a lot of models you won't always find in the Hot Wheels brand, including a few "movie" cars -- check out their 77 Dodge Monaco (Blues mobile), or their 71 Chevy Chevelle which has a distinctive Main Force Patrol (Mad Max) paint scheme.

Johnny Lightning cars are a bit more pricey than Hot Wheels and Matchbox. Whereas the former brands are usually just under $1 per car, Johnny Lightning cars are around $3 to $4 per car. But that price range isn't that bad, especially if you're looking for a specific car model not available from the other brands.

Again, these cars have that rivet construction, so be prepared to do some work if you want to do any heavy mods.

Pros: Nicer looking models, great "not"-movie cars, enough of a different variety than more common brands to help fill out your collection with your favorite cars.
Cons: A little more pricey, construction seems a bit flimsy

M2 Machines

These are my new personal favorites. I'm not sure of the history of M2, but the line is owned by California-based Castline Inc. These are some beautiful cars, with a lot more historical choices. All the cars have rubber riders (tires) and most have lifting hoods, opening doors and detailed interiors. Those with hoods that open (I don't have one yet that doesn't) also have nicely sculpted engines.

Auto-thentics '58 Impala. Copyright Castline Inc.
M2 Machines can be somewhat easily found. Walmart usually has a small selection, as does Hobby Lobby. They can also be found at different online retailers. M2 seems to be releasing new cars at a good pace, too, so keep your eyes peeled.

One thing I like to do is to take out the smaller engines (use gentle force if you try this) of some cars, and replace them with larger engines I've pulled from one of my Hot Wheels. If you prefer to have the hoods down, you might still remove the engines to save for a later conversion. All of this is also made easy in that the frames and bodies of the cars are put together with one or two small screws -- no rivets to knock out and glue back together!

I do have one minor gripe and that's with the interiors. The modelling is OK, but the construction seems a little flimsy. Windows seem to push in easy, and dashboards don't seem to be firmly fastened down. If this is something that bothers you, then keep to the other brands- especially if you don't want to pay the price for these cars (see below.) Personally, I don't mind. Since I cover most of the windows up with armor, blocking the view to the inside, I rip out the interiors and add the pieces to my bits box.

Other items of plastic, such as bumpers and exhaust pipes are also a bit flimsy. These cars are meant for display (and will stand up just fine to Machinas play), but are not meant for the kids. Again, since I'm putting a hell of a lot of glue and green stuff on these cars, anyway, the somewhat subpar construction doesn't bug me too much.

So what kind of cars are there?
Auto Projects '58 Plymouth Fury. Copyright Castline Inc.
Since I'm keeping to the Machinas universe, M2 Machines does have a LOT of pre-1960 choices, including cars, pickups, light cargo trucks and even a couple big rigs and a nice '57 Apache tow truck. If you want the Machinas experience, check out the Auto-Thentics line.

"Drivers" line: '70 Ford Torino Cobra. Copyright Castline Inc.
And for those of you who don't like to paint, check out M2's Auto Projects line; this is a line of cars painted to look like they've just been found in a junkyard: rust, weathering and bondo galore! Slap a gun on the hood and you're ready to rumble. There are enough choices in this line to keep to the Machinas universe, and plenty more choices if not.

If you don't want to stick to the Machinas background, M2 also has plenty of Detroit muscle cars (M2 even has a line devoted and so named "Detroit Muscle.")


Now for the bad news
These cars aren't cheap. they'll run you from $4 to $7 each.  So I'd reserve these cars for when there's a specific model you just have to have and can't find in the other brands.

Did I mention M2 makes limos! They can be found in the
Stretch Rods line.
If you go through eBay or Amazon, keep in mind that a lot of the pricier cars going for more than $7 are for models with hard-to-find paint schemes sought out by collectors.

My latest purchase was actually through Amazon; I bought a 6-pack of Auto-thentics cars for $30, which isn't too bad for M2s. And since the six pack was sold direct through Amazon, shipping was free. So if you like M2, do your research and shop around: The price discounts are out there.

Pros: Beautiful cars, plenty of pre-1960 choices as well as American muscle cars, easy to take apart and reassemble (with a small screwdriver), Auto Projects line has half the work done for you already.
Cons: Some plastic parts don't seem firmly attached, most expensive of all the options talked about here

Last word

So that's what I have for you. Some of you might notice I left out Jada. I don't own, nor have I seen any Jada cars in person. This seems to be a popular European line of die cast cars. Jada seems to have a nice selection, including a line of cars already outfitted with guns and cannon! Last I remember, though, is that Jada cars are a little larger and out of scale with many of the American 1:64 cars. But take a look and see what you think.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Machinas: Two more cars WIP

While Ed and I fiddle with the Machinas rules, I've been modding a few cars. Here are my two newest conversions. The first one started off as a '57 Chrysler 300c. It's not my favorite car, so I didn't want to put too much into it. But after giving it a simple but elegant gun up front a a nice little over-under deal in the back, the little gunship is kind of growing on me. I just might keep this one ("Keep this one?" Yes: Part of the Kickstarter for Machinas might involve me giving away a few cars to bigger backers. We'll talk later.)

The second car is one I'm definitely keeping; it's a dedicated ram car. It started off as a '57 DeSoto Adventurer. I chopped the top, leveled it off and added a pilot's compartment (and a ram, of course.) I normally wouldn't chop the top off one of these cars (these are the more costly ones), but I have another Desoto Adventurer coming in the mail ... along with five other cars.

Both of these cars can be built in Machinas (and might actually do well in a race). Part of the fun of Machinas is creating your drivers and tricking out your cars. You will be limited in what you can build; You only have so many points to use to buy equipment for your cars and personality traits for your drivers. In addition, cars have maximum weight allowances. You can actually go over this maximum, but it will cost you speed. My ram car for example has a maximum weight allowance of 7 (weight is abstracted.) The Spiked Ram weighs 4. I'd also give my car the Heavy Armor Upgrade which weighs 4 as well. I've gone over my weight allowance, which you can do, but now my car will be slower since it is overbuilt.

This would be a sacrifice I'd be willing to make. The ram adds to my "Bashing" ability, and the armor upgrade takes away from both an opponent's Bashing (which makes my ram even stronger), and from his "Shooting" (to help protect me from my own Shooting weakness.)

So building your cars is easy, but you'll have to balance what you want to do with how much you can pay for and how much your car can carry. Not everything has weight- there are certain types of ammo for your guns, better quality tires - and driver traits don't weigh anything, of course.

With around 70 different choices for your car and driver, there should be plenty of options and combinations to keep you busy.

Or you could just put Quad .50s on your car and call it a day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Machinas update: After the Horsemen


This one is for you "After the Horsemen" players. I'm looking at the rules for using Machinas to run chases/running battles in your ATH campaigns; what Ed has sent to me looks great.

You do the usual rolls for determining your enemy types and composition, then the chase is on using Machinas rule! In Machinas, you race until you win or survive. In the ATH chase, you can call off the chase, pick off cars (well, if your the wolf- didn't think about it - can you be a wolf in ATH? It's one of the few THW games I don't own ... surprisingly), or take the chase to the last man.

The chase can also be stopped, and you can climb out of your car and go toe-to-toe. Once the battle is over, opposing cars can be stripped for equipment and fuel (if the damaged vehicles haven't exploded, that is.)

As I mentioned, I don't own ATH, but reading the few bits Ed sent me to look at, I think the two systems will compliment each other nicely. Hey, and I saw motorcycles in there. I didn't put motorcycles in Machinas (like I should have), but I think Ed is on the ball here; A good "Road Warrior"-esque chase is nothing without motorcycles. I'll ask Ed about it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Machinas: Slade's Silvers


I've finished painting my Plymouth Belvedere and retro-fitting and repainting my 53 Cadillac with a new turret. Both vehicles are being added to my own faction for racing/fighting in Machinas. I call them Slade's Silvers. I went for a look of World War II bare aluminum aircraft, but that was only after I have built and painted my Driving Fortress. The Fortress is not for racing, not yet. The car fills two spaces, and we don't have rules for multi-spaced vehicles yet. But the other three cars are a all I need to play a faction.

New camera and old Machinas

So I went shopping for a new battery for my old camera, and no one- and I mean NO one - sells it (ok, I found the battery on Amazon, but I don't want to wait.) So I figured it was time to get a new camera, anyway.

Luckily, I found a Canon Powershot SX150is on clearance at Target for $80 (retail $199.)
It's still a handheld, one-click kind of camera, but this one has the ability to manually set F-Stop and Aperature values, which I couldn't do with my older Powershots.

It also came with a much larger memory card. My old camera would only hold about 20 photos that were around 4000 pixels wide. (I don't take many vacation shots, so I never bought a new card for my old camera.) The new one seems to hold around 4,000 photos at 4,000 pixels!! (Is that right?!) I guess a few years makes a big difference in the context of technology.

The photo here of my old, old Warhammer Empire gunners was taken straight out of the box- not bad. Not bad at all.

Ok, on to old news. Since I'm deep into Machinas, I've also been working on a few cars. There are the Firelane and the Belvedere, but there are also a couple of my older cars that I've decided to retrofit (to better reflect at least one of the new signatures: Tail guns.) The pickup originally had a poor-looking set of rocket pods. I added the glass turret because I want to add this truck to my Slade's Silvers faction (the one with the Driving Fortress.) And I've added a lower profile gun turret to my 53 Cadillac. The older more traditional mounted .50 that was originally on the car looked fine, but I was always afraid of breaking it off by accident. I DID save the .50 though- I have a couple ideas for it for later. And yes, both of these turrets traverse.

On second thought, I prefer the turret on the Cadillac. The turret is not as oversized as it looks in the photo. Also, it is able to traverse a full 360 degrees (just clearing the cab).

Looks like the Caddy is going to Slade's gang (hence the extra baggage on the back), and the pickup is going on the Machinas circuit.

All of the turrets on my cars are interchangeable, so if I change my mind here again, it's just a matter of swapping out turrets.
(all of my turrets have the same diameter of brass rod drilled into the bottom. The rod plugs into a hole I've drilled through solid greenstuff ((for stability)) that's been pressed into the vehicle- you can see the bed of gs in the photo.)