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.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to make your own map (just some basics)

Ok, folks have asked how I did my map, so here's a little photo tutorial I put together. These are some real basic tips, and you'll need a somewhat general knowledge of Photoshop (or your own photo/art software) as well as a little bit of artistic skill. Here goes:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wasting time: Campaign map

Well, I figure a fun way to start an RSBS campaign in the post-apocalypse would be to make a map of the area where the pit fights (and some Jugger matches) take place. On my map, the "fringe of the empire" towns are north, getting nearer the "heart of the empire" as you track south (Teixeirum.)

Do you need a map to run an RSBS campaign? Absolutely not, but I needed to do something to waste time. Oh, and this was all done using some basic Photoshop tools.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thunderdome? Sure, why not.

My friends and I had a lot of fun playing Red Sand, Blue Sky (Two Hour Wargames) this weekend. RSBS uses most of the same mechanics as Qwik. And with the movement in both games done via "zones," this them a bit of cross-over into boardgaming. I think this is why my friends (who are not really miniatures games kind of people) and I (who likes miniatures AND boardgames) enjoy these two games.

My friends preferred Qwik over RSBS (I think because they're also Blood Bowl fans). This usually translates as Qwik is sure to get a few more plays with my friends this year, but RSBS probably will only get one more play if any. I prefer RSBS over Qwik, simply because there's a lot less to keep track of, especially during solo play. But I LOVE the post-apocalyptic setting that comes with Qwik, so I'd prefer to play with friends when I can.

"Carmen, get to the fucking point."

Ah yes, well anyway, I've decided to go ahead and combine the two genres: Post-apocalyptic gladiatorial combat, combining my interests. What's great is that my Qwik figures are already outfitted for such a game! I have space in my figure case for 4 or 5 more figures, so I will be ordering more in the future (A little birdie told me new 54mm generic poses were in the works) just not sure when. These new figures will be converted specifically for gladiatorial combat (complete with road sign shields.)

When we played RSBS this weekend, we used my Qwik field, but it was really too large (though, we did block off a smaller area within the field.) So I've made a new field specifically for playing RSBS (either classical or my post-apoc version.) It has plenty of messy earth with blood and a little bit of arrid static grass glued into place (just a little; it's an experiment to see how well the grass sticks.) It's small (my own little Thunderdome at 3x3), but it's only meant for four to five figures at most. And if I need more space, I can still use my Qwik field.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Western City RPG (My thoughts/review)

So I was wandering around my local gamestore and I came across this small book on the clearance table. It was called "Western City," and I'm always one the lookout for nice reference material- I enjoy a decent read now and again. I opened the book expecting to see maps, illustrations, character archetypes and such (I didn't care what system the book used.)

WELL, as it turned out, the book is actually a self-contained roleplaying game. At that point, I thought, "Ho hum, just another old west rpg. But I'll flip through it."
And that's when I made the discovery that not only is Western City a tongue-in-cheek spaghetti western roleplaying game, but it's one where everyone is a player (no gamemaster needed!) Hells bells! So I bought it.

I've read a lot of it. It has some basic character creation. What I like about creating characters is that there is no skills list. You choose a profession, and with any skills related to that profession, you get a nice static rank. But you can also choose five skills not related to your profession (YOU get to make them up; there is no list to choose from except for a short list of examples.) You have these skills, but at lower ranks than your professional skills. You have three basic, generic attributes (Body, Mind and Charisma.) And main players all start with the same number of hit points.

After creating their own character, each player creates two "extras," a friend and a foe. The extras are placed in a pool, and players take one (to control) that they didn't create. Then the players use a simple bidding process to acquire more extras.

Then players decide on a day's worth of events (called the Line of Events) that will make up the game session(s). If a player wants to take over and add their own idea to an event being pitched, they can bid on the process (bidding is with a limited supply of poker chips.)

This is about as far as I've read in the book. Honestly, this is such a simple story-telling concept, but I think it's a Holy Grail of codifying the mechanics to get it done (at least I hadn't seen it done before.) But this is NOT a game for the "numbers" player -- that D&D player, for example, who creates a character who is built to deal the most damage possible. This game does include dice rolling, but its soul rest with the story, and all the players have a chance to steer the plot; It's a game that will reward the creative player more than the dice roller.

So, as I read the rules, I thought, "Hey, these rules are pretty generic. Honestly, you could use these rules to play in ANY genre you wanted: Pulp, Ancient, Fantasy, SciFi, Dungeon, etc." My first choice would be something Conan the Barbarian-ish. THAT'S when I discovered on the Redbrick LLC website (the folks who distribute Western City) ALSO have an rpg called Barbaren! Unfortunately, the game has not been translated from its original German yet. Looking at the descriptions here and there on the web, Barbaren is REALLY about stereotypes and silly "macho" play; Having sex with women and drinking mead is just as important as fighting in battle, apparently. (And every player is male, and starts with a "Manliness" score.) The game is definitely in bad taste, so it's not for everyone. But if you enjoy a rip-roaring good time and can read German, you should have a go.

I'd love to have a copy of Barbaren! in English even if I never play. The rules sound like they're going to be a hoot simply to read. For now, I'm gonna finish reading my Western City rules to get a grip on the mechanics before looking into alternate genres.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Foundry swashbuckler

Don't worry; I still have that other halberdier sitting on the table. This guy just sneaked in. He was already based and primed, and he fits my current D&D character, so I wanted to paint him up quick to get him into the game.

He comes from Foundry's Elizabethan Sea Dogs range (probably Foundry's last really good range.) I have a few more sea dogs primed and/or based. My original intent a few years ago was to paint up a bunch of random renaissance figures (including some of those older Games Workshop Empire pieces) to play some renaissance street skirmishes (think Romeo and Juliet). I was going to use Two Hour Wargames' Chain Reaction Swordplay ruleset. But I just never got around to finishing these figures, until now. I had around a dozen figures to go. And this week, I've painted 4 of those.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Games Workshop Averland Halberdier

Well, that was fast. I guess I'll reiterate that these figures are incredibly easy to paint. I pulled another couple of my classic figures out of the box for painting (I think they're the last ones I have that are based on the 30mm lipped bases.)

I have a swordsman from Mordheim. He has a long cape I had added when I first started making greenstuff capes. I already have color ideas for him (nothing special, just some good military red and black and such.)

I also have another halberdier (more classic than even the figure in this post.) I'm not sure how I'll paint him, so I'll take suggestions as to which Empire province to paint him to represent.

GW (Classic) Nuln Handgunner

Here's another of my old classic Games Workshop figures, a handgunner I painted up as a soldier of Nuln.
These figures are about the easiest I've painted in a long time. The plume and ribbons are Foundry Storm blue again. I forget what the browns were; I stacked layers from different Foundry palettes.

 I have a classic GW Empire halberdier on the table right now. I'm not sure which province I'll have him yet. I may just choose some colors and have a go. Though, it's been a LONG time since I've done anything for Averland (1993 in fact, when I first bought most of my Empire army.) And Foundry has a pretty good yellow (Yellow Ochre.)

I'll see how I feel after doing the halberdier. If I get the energy built up, I may try to get one of my halberdier regiments painted up to go along with my handgunner and crossbow regiments. I already have the flag and the captain finished up for one of the two halberdier regiments I have; it's just a matter of getting the rank and file troops started -- as well as trying to pull back how much detail I try to put into a figure so that it doesn't take me a month to finish the regiment.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Leonardo di Miragliano

This my all-time favorite sculpt from Games Workshop. Leonardo di Miragliano is obviously influenced by some Da Vinci fellow. The figure came with the original sculpt of the Empire's volley gun (along with a couple other nice figures that would compliment Leonardo's workshop if I were to build one- oh wait, I did (see below- something I whipped up a few years ago).

I used my favorite Foundry colors again, storm blue for the jacket, red oxide for the shirt sleeves (highlighted with some base spearshaft and even into a little bit of orange.)
The base is a 30mm slottabase on which I sculpted some tile using greenstuff.

Here's some old file pics of my watchtower which is topped with Leonardo's workshop (for the sharp-eyed, you'll find in the bottom pic a tiny painting of the Mona Lisa I did up.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chronoscope martial arts master

Here's a quickie I did up in about an hour: Reaper Chronoscope No. 50190, Chan Li, martial arts master. Ge was pretty easy to paint up, and if you're looking for something to practice painting skin, I'd recommend this figure; the muscles are sculpted with enough relief to give a beginning painter a good guide to paint over, while still rewarding an advanced painter who takes more time and care with his minis.

I put him on one of my planked bases with the intention of adding his to the tramp steamer crew (how else will he get to Han's island?)

I suspect, over the coming weeks, I will be posting a few random pieces. I'm a bit burned out on projects. I think, though, I may be painting a few things here and there to add to existing projects. For example, I have a figure left over from my Street Corner project as well as another figure I can add to my tramp steamer crew. I also have my Frothers Cthulhu figures, though, I'm not sure when I'll get to those. I only purchased them because the were available for a short time, and I know I'd get to them some day.

Until then, I'm trying to get a game of Qwik set up for this weekend! My friends are big Blood Bowl fans, so I think they'll enjoy Qwik.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Qwik 54mm in action!

This wasn't a real game; I just wanted to take some action shots of my Qwik figures on the field to show you what a game might look like.

And here's a shot showing the tokens I'll use for my games. I made them from Sculpey.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Dirt Dog driver (and teams are finished!)

Here's the last of the Qwik figures! The last of the drivers for the Dirt Dogs. The cleaver blade came from a GW ork figure. The rope around the blade is twisted copper wire, which I think works perfectly as rope (and is easy to paint.)

I finished off all the other figures by giving them a good drybrushing of Foundry rawhide. This served two purposes: It added a layer of post-apocalyptic dust to everything, and it helped to kill the glossiness on some of the paints (my freelance driver in an earlier post shows some of that gloss. The drybrushing worked really well to dull it out.)

After a few days and lots of coats of varnish, and I'll be ready for my first games of Qwik!

A note on drybrushing: When you drybrush your figures, remember that it's "dry" brushing (and I'll explain here in a moment). Some folks confuse drybrushing with a technique called "overbrushing." In overbrushing, you pull a brush with just a little bit of paint over raised detail, such as hair or chainmail, so that the paint lands only on the raised surfaces leaving the recessed surfaces dark or unpainted. In drybrushing, you load your brush up with paint, then you wipe as much paint as you can onto a paper towel. This should leave mostly dry paint on your brush. Then you wipe or flick (there are different techniques to this) the dry brush over the figure, leaving essentially a "dusty" layer of pigment on your figure. In fact, when I drybrushed these qwik figures, I could see little dust clouds getting thrown up as I flicked the brush to and fro. If you try to drybrush with paint that is still a little too wet on your brush, you'll get streaks on your figure. And since dried paint kills a good brush, that's why we use a crap brush :)

I like these figures! Despite being specifically made for playing Qwik, I can also use them as a post-apoc primitive tribe (alongside my Waiteri), or as post-apoc gladiators using Two Hour Wargames' Red Sand Blue Sky rules. And, you know, as I was doing these, I was wondering how hard it would be to do 54mm Road Warrior stuff.

The Qwik figures could easily play the part; all I would need would be a few vehicles, but that would be the hardest part. I have yet to find cars in 1/35 scale (1/35 is VERY close to 54mm). There are plenty of military vehicle models at 1/35 scale, but most civilian vehicle models are at 1/24 scale, and it's the civvie vehicles I think that make the best road warrior cars. Now, I've seen 1/32 scale cars, but they were still a touch too large for my tastes. Has anyone ever seen 1/35 scale models of civilian vehicles?

Update: Hmm, I think I may be wrong, and that 1/32 scale is closer to 54mm. That opens things up a little bit ... like my wallet.

Oh well, it was just a far-off thought ... though, my 54mm Qwik figures started out as just a far-off thought, too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Dirt Dog qwik

Just one figure left on the table, though, I actually have enough figures now to field two full teams.
This figure might be my least favorite; he's looking maybe a tad bit like a luchidor. But the pose is perfect for his position as a qwik, low to the ground, arms outstretched to stop the opposing qwik or balanced to dodge a rival driver.

I've made some markers as well. Some show who has been pinned, and others are simply to mark players that have acted in the current turn. (There's only 5 players to keep track of on your team, but it doesn't hurt to have a little reminder.)

That's it! One more figure and I can call this project complete. Another one almost down, and then what next? I think I may flounder a bit and do a couple random figures here and there. I need to see about selling some figures to make space. 28mm gladiators and vikings probably up on the block.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Qwik 54mm: Dirt Dog driver

Here's the next member of my Dirt Dog team. I painted him and the chainsaw driver at the same time, that's how I got this figure finished so fast. Since they were the same pose, I thought it would help the painting go as little faster.

I deliberately kept this sculpt more primitive. I want him to look more as if he's a replacement player for the team. Keeping him primitive helps me to connect him (somewhat) back to my Waiteri tribe, thus tying all of my 54mm figures together. I didn't want to paint him as a Waiteri because my Macello team is painted up in those very colors (tattoos,) and I don't want the players/teams to be confused during gameplay.

Nothing else of note on this figure to mention except that the spiked weapon head is from a Games Workshop orc.

Qwik 54mm: Husqvarna's finest

"Whether it's felling timbers, hunting zombies or playing in a pick-up game of juggers, the APOC 2100 should be YOUR chainsaw of choice. The APOC 2100 has teeth with POWER! Runs smooth, cuts fast. The APOC 2100 runs on refined petroleum, distilled spirits and process organics to guarantee YOU will never run out of fuel. APOC 2100, Pick one up at your local wasteland trader today!

*APOC 2100 emits deadly fumes. Always wear  APOC-brand safety masks when operating your APOC 2100. APOC-brand safety masks sold separately."

This is easily my favorite sculpt of all the Qwik figures I have so far. It's hard to not like a guy swinging a chainsaw around in a game that's really supposed to be nonlethal.

The chainsaw was easy to make: The blade is a piece of plasticard with teeth filed into it. The engine box is just a cube of greenstuff with a couple disks of greenstuff (cut from cured roll) glued onto the sides. The handles are all brass rod, and the wrappings just twine wrapped repeatedly.

This figure departs a little bit from the look of the team; I think he looks more like he belongs to the Macellos. Perhaps I'll get another figure to fill in the position and make this guy another freelancer. I mean freesawyer.