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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

54mm Post-apoc: The Matron

Reading the recent Red Sands Black Moon battle report over at Two Hour Wargames blog, I liked the idea of a "patron," a figure to use who simply helps the players remember the turn order (which can be easy to forget after a few back-and-forths on the attack tables.)

So I used this old out-of-print figure from Bronze Age miniatures, gave her a book on a rusty pole (book and skulls are from the Mordheim Witch Hunters set, I think) and painted her a metal bikini. Now I have my own post-apoc ring girl ... or witch ... or school teacher: "Ok, kids, now it's time for twin skulls calculus."

Quick note: Foundry's Bay Brown (What I've used here) makes a great brown flesh color. I had never tried it before because the base coat of Bay Brown looks (to me, anyway) like it has JUST a touch of green in it. But with the rest of the triad, it works just dandy!

And with the idea of the "patron," mechanic, I suddenly remembered I had this old figure (Charon, who I converted from a Black Cat Miniatures 54mm ancient German), which I can use to keep track of turns when playing with my classical gladiators:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A couple blog questions for readers

I'm thinking of changing the layout of my blog just a touch. I want to remove one of the rails along the sides, so that I can post slightly larger photos. (That, and with the two rails, part of the right side of many of my photos get covered up.)

 I'm keeping the manufacturer links, the search bar, members (followers) list, and the archive (though I wish my Archive bar would display post titles like it is supposed to.)

But how often do you all use the other links in the rails? I'm wanting to delete the links to specific posts (ie "54mm Waiteri," "Ghostbusters" and "Shipbuilding articles" for example.) But if folks use them to quickly navigate to their favorite genres, I may simply move them over to one side (which will require a lot of scrolling down to get where you want.)

If no one has an opinion- that's all right; I can make my own decision- I just wanted input from readers to help better your experience.

Thanks for any input you might have! And if you have none, thanks still for reading my blog!

(Oh shit- sometime in the past week or two, I hit 150,000 hits. I think I'll celebrate with a Guiness.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Looking forward to Red Sand Black Moon

I'm looking forward to the impending release of Red Sand Black Moon by Two Hour Wargames. The game is similar to Red Sand Blue Sky (Roman gladiator fighting), but is geared toward a fantasy setting.

Reading over at the Yahoo group, it looks like there'll be a much wider selection of weapons as well as a larger selection of signatures (used to refine and define your fighter as an individual.)

I'll be using my post-apocalyptic gladiators to play - not that I couldn't use Red Sand Blue Sky (and I have) but it looks like the expansion of options will make it easier to convert into a post-apoc setting. And with the addition of more races (including larger things such as trolls), hopefully it'll be easier to stat out some more beasts (maybe some post-apoc dinosaurs, mutants, green screamers and such.)

Thunderdome will rock again! (Well, for some of my longtime followers, you may remember my own homebrew: Septimontium - That's where my fights will rock.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Repainted Dinos: Carnotaurus

Here's the last of the dinosaur repaints for the time being. This is the carnotaurus, theorized to be one of the fastest dinosaurs ever (around 30 mph.)

The paint scheme here is actually inspired by one you can sometimes see on cavepaintings (and contemperary facsimiles) of aurochses. After all, the carnotaurus is named for his bull-like horns.

Like the other repainted dinosaurs, this one started out with a black acrylic basecoat, then a few drybrushed coats of brown mixed with successive highlights of orange. Then I started mixing black back in to get the darker areas around the head and behind the pelvis.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Repainted Dinos: Saltasaurus and saichania

Here's a couple more repainted dinosaurs. Both sculpts are by Schleich. I decided to keep the schemes on these two nice and simple. The saltasaurus has a muted green-gray palette (difficult to see here, because I'm still having trouble with my camera settings with these larger figures.)

The human figure, again, is 54mm to give you some reference. And yes, saltasaurus is that small (being one of the smaller sauropods.) The other dino is an anklyosaurid called saichania. Both of these dinos are from the late Cretaceous. (and so is the carnotaurus I'll be painting later- hmm, I wonder if Schleich is just doing late cretaceous specimens?)

I've got one more dinosaur to do, a carnotaurus (my favorite therapod) by Boston Museum. After that, I think I may get a Doctor Who mini or two or three to paint; I'm (finally) watching the series (reboot seasons) for the first time, and I'm lovin' it. I plan on getting the "not" figures from Heresy, and the TARDIS from Hasslefree. Plenty of good Doctors to choose from- and a K9 (all from Heresy), but I'd still like to find a good Rose Tyler figure.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Repainted Parasaurolophus

The parasaurolophus is my favorite dinosaur species; I don't know why, it just is. And this sculpt, by Schleich, is my favorite of the three sculpts I own (the others by Carnegie and Battat.) It's got a nice pose; there isn't the hypothesized webbing between the crest and neck; and the figure is very stable - it won't tip over easily. (The Battat sculpt looks nice, but it's stance is delicately balanced; a touch from either size sends the poor thing over on to her side.)

To give you an idea of size, the figure next to this parasaurolophus is one of my 54mm Waiteri tribe members.

I need to readjust the lighting; these dinosaurs are too large for my photographing space, so I have to push them back, along with the lighting, and my camera is compensating in an unexpected fashion (making the darks darker and the lights lighter). It's ok, though - the camera (an older Canon A460) has very few manual settings and otherwise gives me great photos. We'll just have to settle for dramatic-lit dinos for the time being.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Repainting prepainted dinosaurs

Since I rediscovered my simple priming technique for soft plastic figures, I've been looking for stuff to paint. I've done most of the FFG monsters I wanted to do, and I was looking at some of the D&D prepainted stuff online when I realized I have a large collection of vinyl dinosaurs.

I'm not going to paint them all -- at least not all at once. Here I've painted a styracosaurus and a sinraptor. They're both the same scale (1:40 scale), so most of the dinos I have will be a touch too large for my 28-33mm stuff. They'll also be a touch small for my 54mm Waiteri tribe (but they seem to match almost perfectly my 40mm Old West figures- Oh boy!) But when you're mixing dinos with old west, cavemen or gangsters, who's worried about scale?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dontunderstan: A few notes

There was a request for a few descriptions about Dontunderstan. I looked over the map - most of the stuff, in retrospect, looks like it was written by a 13-year-old; what the hell was I thinking?? Oh yeah, I was writing it for a specific audience, by group of 30-something-year-old intellectual friends who need to let loose every now and then. Anyway, here are a few notes (some quoted verbatim from the map, and some paraphrased).

Marpelites: This is a race of beings (no physical description available except that they look "cute") who are assholes. Only the forces of Ak (a city of men, minotaurs, centaurs and blue knights) keep the Marpelites in check so they don't spread their assholiness all over the rest of the world.

North: Notice how everything says "north" or "northern"? Yep, that's just how it is in Dontuderstan. True north and the other three directions are myths, and to even discuss their existence in some areas is heresy.

Orcalonia: This is the most beautiful and enlightened city in all of Dontunderstan. It has wide boulevards, unpolluted water, beautiful fountains, and clean streets. It's just that it's full of orcs, goblins and ogres - the most disgusting races of all Dontunderstan.

Kutovonia: This is one of the largest cities of Dontunderstan. It has recently banned Christmas leading to the Christmas riots.

The Ancient Forest: In this forest live two species of monkey; one species is good to eat, the other taste like shit.

The Forest: In which a great battle involving 300,000 warriors under the rival kings Hlod the Inheritor and Donoghue of Comes never occurred.

Arthur Lake: Near Arthur Lake is a stone with a sword in it, and whoever can pull the sword from the stone becomes Ultra-Motu (big leader) of all of Dontunderstan. Everybody has tried to pull it, and anybody who has denied trying to pull it is a liar. It's like masturbation: Everybody has yanked at the sword whether they admit it or not.

Northern Ocean: Somehow, a lot of boats sailing in the Northern Ocean end up on land in the middle of Dontunderstan. No one can explain why; the Motus (national leaders) claim the ships simply need better navigators.

That's all for now- at least that's the better stuff- enough certainly to give you an idea of what I'm working with in this setting.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Making a map: The old fashioned method

I found this while cleaning out my closet. This is a map of a world I created for use with Savage Worlds. The world is called Dontunderstan. (And this is a terrible collage job- but it gets the point across.) The game was meant to be comedic, hence names of places such as "Nebraska" and "If bears were in this world, they wouldn't live here."

I put together the map as a basis for a fantasy game in which everything would be improv- save for the copious notes on the map itself, there would be no pre-written adventure or plotpoints. The only thing I'd have on hand besides dice would be a few basic representatives of the species of this world pregenerated.
Unfortunately, the weekend we were supposed to game is when one of my grandmothers died.
It's been six years, so maybe it's time again to try to get the gang together and see if they're ready to have a go at Dontuderstan?

The map is roughly 4 1/2 feet long. I had a fountain pen (cheapish Sheaffer pen), some watercolors, a big sheet of butcher paper, and a couple free evenings.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Whisper out of madness

Here are three more repainted prepainted Fantasy Flight Games Arkham Horror monsters. We have, from top to bottom, a Mi-Go from Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness"; A Yithian from "Shadow out of Time"; and an Elder Thing from "At the Mountains of Madness."
These aliens are from my three favorite Lovecraft stories.

The Mi-go was a simple drybrush job. I threw him onto a brass wire to get him flying. Not the best mi-go sculpt ever, but the price was right, and he was a no-nonsense figure to throw together (paint.)

This Yithian is from my favorite Lovecraft story, "Shadow out of Time." It's been a while since I actually read the story, so I wasn't quite sure what colors to use (Thanks, Allison for the heads-up.) Again, the sculpt is ok, but it's not technically accurate. Still, like the mi-go, it's an easy figure to deal with; there's no construction to deal with. Having said that, the FFG sculpt had a three-pronged clasper type hand on the center stalk instead of the four red "trumpets," so I had to use some greenstuff to make my own.

The other challenge was to paint the cone to look as if it was iridescent. To accomplish the feat, I used the same technique I used on my Writhing Wailer, but this time, I kept the colors (green and purple in this case) as subtle as I could. I think the effect turned out pretty good.

And here's the Elder Thing from "At the Mountains of Madness." Again, the sculpt isn't accurate- if I remember right, the Elder Things had five wings and only five "eye" stalks. I also couldn't much mention of the colors (I need to find my old books!) "Gray" was the only actual color I found mentioned anywhere. What I'm sure about is that the Elder Thing wasn't that carnival of color FFG had him prepainted as. I hope.

As inaccurate as some of these sculpts are, I still like these figures. I had my eye on the RAFM figures for a while, but I wasn't ready to deal with all that metal, construction and careful storage down the road. The FFG figures gave me the chance to own some of my favorite Lovecraft monsters without all the hassle. They're also a little larger, so they fit my 30-33mm pulp and modern figures. The Yithian and Elder thing above are mounted on 50mm lipped bases, by the way, to give you an idea of how large they are.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Apprentice wizard

Here's a little fellow I purchased as a bit from Reaper to help fill out a recent order (so as to get free shipping.) He is the apprentice/assistant figure from Reaper No. 3186 Wizard's Workshop.

He isn't the smallest figure I've painted, but there were plenty of delicate features that were difficult to paint (fingers, face, book pages, scrolls and looseleaf paper tucked under his chin). But the job got done.

A note on painting yellow: Everyone has their own recipe. Mine is Light brown, ochre, and then a final highlight of yellow. It's not the brightest, but it works just fine for me- I'll even use it for my old school Games Workshop Harlequins once I finally get around to painting them (I still need to build up some more mad skills, so I don't ruin them.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Paranormal Investigators: Doctor and a what?

Just a couple more figures to round out my paranormal investigation/Ghostbuster/Elder things collection. The first figure is a doctor from Reaper's Chronoscope range (No. 50257 Dr. Thomas Welby.) I'm renaming him Dr. Modot Brooks.

Why "Modot?" Because on my way to Kansas City a few weeks ago, I saw a sign along the highway telling me to "Fasten your seatbelt, because Modot cares." Modot, of course is Missouri Department of Transportation, but it sounded like a fantasy evil overlord (who at least "cares.") And since this figure represents an evil character in my upcoming roleplaying game, he inherited the name.

This other figure - I simply cannot remember what it is called. The figure came from a past Frothers United sculpting contest. The theme was Cthulhu figures for playing Cluedo (Clue here in the U.S.) aka: Cthluedo.

I kept the paint simple- just a few quick layers of light blues and a couple layers of purple- all drybrushed.