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, February 23, 2013

42mm Samurai AAR: Ichi!

There was no announcement. Zato Ichi could smell the assassins before he heard them. There were three, and they surrounded the gamble-happy masseuse. The ninja at Ichi's front struck first.

A flash of steel yielded no results. A second pass sent the ninja sprawling to the ground with a belly wound.

One of the ninja's comrades took up the attack, flanking Ichi in the tight space among the rocky terrain. The two exchanged slashes and strikes but Ichi managed to cut the ninja's arm forcing him away.

Ichi quickly turned back to the first ninja writhing on the ground and finished him off with another slash across the belly.

The last of the assassins attacked Ichi, but his clumsy attack netted only a small cut across one of Ichi's legs. Ichi stumbled back between two large boulders to prevent any more flank attacks. Again the second ninja attacked, and for his efforts received a wound nearly severing his right arm. The third ninja continued the attack but was also forced back with a light wound.

One after the other, Ichi fought and pushed back the two ninja. Finally, he caught a break and slipped a cut under the weakened parry of the ninja whose arm was hanging by a thread. The cut went deep into the ninja's belly, killing him instantly.

Ichi was able to step back to catch his breath. Then the masseuse and the ninja went straight back to work. Ichi started this fight off strong hoping to end it sooner than later, but when he crossed swords more than a few times with the two remaining ninja he knew he had to hold back if he wanted to survive. With one ninja remaining, he knew he could gamble and extend his attack.

Mentally measuring the attacks and parries of his enemy, Ichi was able to determine the ninja's height. He mustered all his strength behind his cane sword, took his stance, and prepared to go for a head shot. The ninja came, and he and Ichi swung their shortswords. Ichi stood motionless as the ninja's head slid from his neck and dropped to the ground.

Ichi shook the blood from his blade, slipped it back into his cane scabbard and stumbled along the path toward town, where there was still gambling and sake to be had.

Dreadball update: Marauder WIP

I've been out of the Dreadball loop for a few weeks- too many distractions (but I love those 42mm samurai.) Anyway, I got another couple layers of paint onto my Marauder team.

The theme I'm going for is a team of junkyard scrappers who've made their own armor. All of their armor is rusted. The next step will be to clean up the figures, painting the no-rusted areas black, so that I can see what I'm doing. I'll probably go back and paint a few random plates of armor as if they're newer pieces. And though the rust theme identifies this as a team, I'm still going to add red markings (though, I may change that to blue- it's not too late to change my mind.)

The goblins will be yellow-skinned (like the OLD-school D&D goblins), maybe a couple green or orange skins. The orcs will be varied- a couple cliche green-skins, another gray (or caucasian to represent an ogre?) and another brown.

Still trying to think of a team name. I'm thinking something along the line of "blank's" Scrappers. Maybe "Skrag's Scrappers." (or shortened to just "The Skrags.")

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Samurai AAR: Kanezane's obligation

"Clear the road, Ronin!"
Kiyomori the bodyguard already had his hand on the hilt of his katana. He fully intended to use it against any who threatened his master, Sugita Onosaki, chief of the Akusa gang.

The ronin stepped away from the shrine at which he was praying. He spoke in almost a whisper.
"I, Kanezane, masterless warrior of the Shichirobei School, was paid by the peasants to kill you, Sugita Onosaki. The Akusa end today."
No more words were spoken, except what blades say on the wind.

Kiyomori drew first and attacked the ronin. It was a strong attack, but the ronin riposted, ripping a deep gash into the bodyguard's chest. The bodyguard fell to the ground, but he was still alive, if barely.

Sugita had planned to stand back and wait for Kiyomori to finish or at least weaken the ronin, but it was obvious that would not happen. So Sugita drew his own blade and attacked. Unfortunate for him, his experience was in bullying the weak, not dueling the strong. Kanezane cut past Sugita's poorly executed parry and deep into his chest, as is the Shichirobei tactic, killing the Akusa boss instantly.

Despite his gaping wound, Kiyomori was able to rise and take his stance. Kanezane obliged the warrior and the two crossed blades. Weakened as he was, Kiyomori was able to parry Kanezane's strong attacks, though the bodyguard did take light wounds to his leg and arms. 

What little strength he had remaining, he threw into one final attack against the ronin, but to no avail. Kanezane slipped one final cut across Kiyomori's chest, killing him outright.

"This was a strong warrior," thought Kanezane. "For his honorable strength, I shall add a prayer for him. And for his master, a thousand curses."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Charioteer: Lap 2

I finished painting the last of my chariots for playing Charioteer by Two hour Wargames. You don't need this many chariots (four is plenty for a good game), but with nine teams I can do a full-blown massive Ben Hur race.

These are easy to paint; the sculpts aren't that great- boardgame pawn quality - but they still have an endearing quality and are perfect for playing Charioteer. These are 15mm, one-piece resin sculpts.

Before I play a game with ALL of them, I'll need to make a new track (in Charioteer, the track needs to be as long ((spaces)) as there are chariots in the race.

As a side note, it's the Charioteer rules that I use when I play games of Machinas (Death Racing).

Friday, February 15, 2013

10 days goes fast

Has it already been ten days since my last post?? (I don't know- is ten days a long time to go without blogging?)

Anyway, I've been busy at work this week- and took it easy last week to prepare for this week, so I hadn't been getting a lot of painting or converting done. I DO, however, have a few things on my table that I actually touched today -- some 15mm chariots for playing Charioteer, some Mice and Mystics figures that I'll be doing some minor conversions on, and an unfinished orc Dreadball team that I finally threw a little paint on. All that and I'm entertaining the possibility of purchasing yet more 42mm samurai figures (I have some ideas for a couple ninja conversions.)

So hang in there, and hopefully I'll get something cobbled together for your viewing pleasure. Maybe, if I have the energy, I'll throw together another samurai skirmish soon.

In the mean time, here's some new eye candy:

Silly ninjas, Ichi is blind so why are you wearing black?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

42mm Samurai: Zatoichi

Here is Zatoichi, the Shintaro Katsu version (though I do enjoy the Takeshi Kitano version, too. I'd just have to add some ruffled white hair to do a Kitano version.)
I used green stuff to add some leg wrappings and to extend his shirt into a long-tailed coat (I was unable to find a good picture of his clothing, so I just made up something, in this case a haori with a split back.)

Here's another copy of the figure I used
 for the Zatoichi conversion
The meat of this conversion is in the sword cane and the head. The sword cane started as a piece of brass rod. I hammered it lightly to give it a thinner cross section (as a scabbard.) Then using needle files, I gently filed away brass near the midsection of the rod, forming the partially exposed blade of the sword cane. The filing took a while because it had to be done softly since the section of brass rod at the blade became thin and was prone to bending or even snapping. The cane took me two tries, only because my first effort was slightly too small.

The other major work was with the head. First, I had to swap heads with a figure without a hat; the original figure was wearing a straw hat, and the hatless heads would make the next step easier. That step was to again use the needle files and file away all the hair, but without marring the surface of the head. I need to file the head until it was bald, but no more. I wanted to do a close-shaven Zatoichi.

After the head was the shape I wanted, it was swapped. But I wanted to reattach it in a specific pose, that of Zatoichi cocking his turned head, listening for his enemies' next move. Once everything was together and the glue set, I painted him up. To do the shaven head, I simply painted his hair in gray and added flesh to the gray for the highlighting.

One blind masseur ready to go give ninjas and yakuza a bad day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

42mm samurai: Stripy pants

This figure is another result that makes me happy. There was a lot of work done to him, but it was all easy work.

The head comes separate on this figure; With my first copy of this figure, I set the head facing the same direction as the katana blade. With this figure, I rotated the head a little bit, which changed his whole stance nicely. His leather hat was made using green stuff (seen in this earlier post).

But the biggest conversion on this figure was the haori jacket. I filed down the katiganu (those big shoulder thingys you usually see on samurai) and added a long coat tail. That was about it. I simply used the existing kimono sleeves as the sleeves for the haori. Then I finished off the conversion with one of my hammered brass blades.

After painting the peasants in some lackluster browns and tans, I wanted something that was a little more striking, so I opted for the black and white stripes on the hakama of my samurai here.
I wanted this samurai to bring an air of danger, so I chose black for death, white for bones, and the red mon for blood.

Nest up: Zatoichi!

42mm Samurai: Peasant defending with yari

This is another figure I put together using the "reversed" pose as seen previously. I've also done the slight leg rotation as well as a head swap.

I didn't break either of the feet off rotating these legs, but I'm sure I weakened the ankle joints, so I used green stuff to sculpt some pants down to help strengthen the joints, as well as add a little diversity to my corp of peasants.

That's it for my peasants. Using two poses (the two center spearmen in the photo below), I've made seven different figures (actually, seven different peasants plus my Zatoichi figure which is not yet finished.) And all it took was some green stuff, razor saw, needle files, pen and vise, brass rod, and the gumption to tear apart and reassemble my figures.

I still want to make an unarmored bowman of some sort using either a samurai or peasant pose, but  I have yet to figure out how to go about the conversion.

42mm Samurai: Peasants with imposing weapons

Here are a couple of my new peasants converted. They're actually converted from the same pose; the figure with the nagimaki (that big bladed polearm), is how the original figure was posed. I've added the nagimaki (in place of a yari/spear) as well as the straw rain cape and straw hat (both made with green stuff.)

The other figure took a little bit of work. First, I used a razor saw to remove his head and turn it almost 180 degrees. Next, I cut the integral base so that I could rotate the legs. I used a pair of pliers (with some thick fabric between the levers to prevent the plier teeth from marring the figure) to gently rotate the legs as far as I thought they would go. Unfortunately, I snapped one foot off at the ankle.

This is how the original, unconverted pose looks.
This simply led to another conversion opportunity; I pinned the foot back on, then I used some green stuff to fill in the gap and strengthen the joint. The other foot did not break, but I also added green stuff to strengthen it just in case. I then sculpted both of these masses of green stuff into gaiters/leggings (I forget the Japanese term for it.)
The mallet (called a kakeya) was made with a cylinder of green stuff and a piece of brass rod.

Since they're peasants, I kept the palette basic with a few different browns. I'd prefer something a little more colorful, but I'd still like to keep this set of figures somewhat historical looking (even if I do include the random oni now and again in my games.) But I'm happy that these figures came out almost exactly as I had planned. I think I've hit the limit of what I can do with these poses for now, at least without sawing off limbs and torsos.

Quick note: I'm trying out the 40mm Proxie Models bases with these figures. I like the bases. They have a lower profile and provide a more stable platform. Mostly, I used the Proxie Models bases this time around because that's what I had available. I think these bases will be my go-to bases now for all my 40mm to 54mm figures.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

42mm samurai: Conversions complete

All the hard work is done. I still have some minor mold lines to clean up, otherwise, these figures are ready to go under the primer on Sunday. I added long pant legs on one of the peasants as intended, but for the other (hammer man) I added gaiters instead- which reminds me- I need to give my Zatoichi figure some leg wrappings- dang. Ok- back to the table with me.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

42mm Samurai: Converting the peasants

Here are my peasants after a few conversion steps. There were a few head swaps, all brand new weapons and some legs/ankles rotated to accommodate a couple poses that I've reversed from the original poses. In fact, I had one accident when I broke off a foot (you can barely see the piece of brass rod on the right leg of the man with the hammer (( look under the spear point)).) When I dig out the green stuff, I'll patch that leg up.

Breaking the foot off has me concerned that I've weakened the ankles on the spearman, so when I get the green stuff out, I'll give both reversed figures longer pants to cover the ankles and strengthen the legs. I also have to add tiny bits of green stuff to smooth out the neck connections on the head-swapped figures.

The fellow on the far right has yet to get a rain cape but otherwise looks just as I planned him. I also sawed the connection between his back hand and body so that I could raise that arm a bit to help level off the weapon angle (simply to add a little variety.)

And then there's Zatoichi with his sword cane, his head turned to listen for enemies. It took me a while to file down a peasant head into a bald head, but it turned out nicely. I still have yet to add longer coat flaps on Ichi, but I'm otherwise happy with how he's turning out.

I still have a samurai I haven't touched yet. He'll be getting a haori/jacket, and leather hat (as well as a hammered-brass katana blade.) I jut got all these figures a couple hours ago, so converting is progressing quickly. I'm going to take a break and try to plan some more before hitting the figures with the green stuff.