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, January 31, 2014

Akizuki gold

Dags over at Frothers mentioned that my samurai have too much static grass (not enough variety) on their bases, so I decided to get a little practice decking out a base.

This is a 40mm base (by Proxie Models). I used concrete rubble and some foliage (by Gale Force 9,) some tall grass from a manufacturer I can't remember, and some two-part epoxy resin for the little pool of water (which is indeed glossy, but somehow didn't reflect any light in these pics.) The flowers are scrap cuts from a floral stem.

I think the base looks great, though, similar results will be difficult when I have a figure on there; there just won't be this kind of space to work with. I'm also not quite sure what to do with this particular base. Maybe it could be a simply objective marker. I figured since it features a small pool of water, it can be the hiding place of the Akizuki gold (for fans of "The Hidden Fortress.")

St. Machinas

Just another poster. I like this one better.
And remember, Brother pilots: Machinas Indiegogo campaign

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Just having fun with Machinas art. This one was pretty easy to throw together; I'm thinking about redoing it much larger so that I can make it into an actual poster.
Don't forget to visit the Machinas Indiegogo campaign.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Colonel Jack

If you haven't yet taken a look at the Machinas: Death Racing indiegogo campaign, please go have a look-see soon. And spread the word if you see places it's not mentioned.

You can also check out more information about Machinas -- game and setting -- over at the Two Hour Wargames blog.

Monday, January 27, 2014

40mm Old West:; A couple free grazers

40mm old west?? Yep. One of the pleasant surprises I found when I took the collection out of storage were four unpainted figures, including these two cowboys.

Most of my collection is from HLBS, but these two are actually by Knuckleduster Miniatures. (And I just discovered that you can order many of the old HLBS figures through Knuckleduster as well; one-stop shopping!) There are a few things I like about the Knuckleduster 40mm figures.
-- Most of the figures come with separate heads and right arms, so a lot of variety can be achieved.
-- Many of the foot figures also have mounted versions (sold in separate packs.)
-- And there is a small selection of wounded/dead cowboys, and even a wounded horse.

So, point being, take a look at Knuckleduster. Oh yes, many of you will say, "These are great, but 40mm is not my scale." Lucky for you, Knuckleduster also has an extensive selection of 28mm Old West -- even some "singing" cowboys.

I have a third Knuckleduster figure sitting around somewhere. I'll have to dig him out. I also have a couple more old HLBS figures sitting on the table almost done. They'll come later.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Machinas video: The Basics

Ed posted a video on the Indiegogo page giving the basics of how Machinas is played. It doesn't give a lot of details, but I think it gives enough to show you how the game plays and what it looks like on the table.
Take a look:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Short update

Some of my first Machinas cars getting their first layer of paint.
Most of these (long since finished) cars are spoken for in the Machinas
 Indiegogo campaign.

I've been away for the week, but I'm back. I hope to start another commission with Steve Barber soon, this time for a Japanese bandit (like the henchmen in either Yojimbo or the 2003 version of Zatoichi.)

I started that, but my head is still fully into the Machinas Indiegogo campaign. If you haven't seen it, go have a look. Spread the word if you can (especially if you haven't seen it mentioned on certain forums.) Machinas also now has a Board Game Geek entry.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Machinas Indiegogo is a go!

The Machinas campaign is under way, and half the limited edition cars are spoken for! Don't get left in the dust; you can visit the campaign here:

Even if you don't want to pledge, The Oppenheimer still heaps his glory on thee.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Machinas: It's here.

Machinas will be on Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter, and it begins at noon (PST) on Sunday. The rules will be available in print and/or PDF, along with cards, some limited custom cars and nice stretch goals. Dig deep, Brother Pilots, and spread the word!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

ONE more group photo: 40mm Old West

These figures were my very first large-scale (larger than 28-32mm) figures. I bought them back in 2007 to play Gutshot by Hawgleg Games (I haven't played in a long while, but the game was certainly fun and simple considering all the possibilities it offered. Recommended.)

All of these figures were by HLBS, which has since sold the molds to When I opened the case containing these figures I also discovered four unpainted figures by Knuckleduster; I should probably get those painted! Knuckleduster makes a great range of 40mm old west figures, including mounted versions of most of the foot figures, and wounded and civilians. I recommend both the HLBS/Minifig and Knuckleduster 40mm old west figures.

54mm Post Apocalypse figures

As long as I have this little terrace setup, I might as well take photos of a couple more collections. These are my 54mm Apocalators (post-apoc gladiators). This group also includes many figures I use to play Qwik, by Two Hour Wargames.

The group below is my Waiteri tribe. I originally made them with the intent of playing some nice large-scale games of Tusk. After I created a bunch of the post-apoc figures, I wrote the Waiteri into the background/setting I've created for the rest of my PA figures (which is the same setting as "Machinas," by the way.) So I have plenty of post-apoc figures now for a good skirmish or small battle.

The wolf is from Reaper miniatures, and the tribesman second from right in the front row below is an old heavily converted ancient German sculpt by Alpha Miniatures (now by Black Cat Miniatures.) All the other figures, in both photos, were heavily converted using Bronze Age Miniatures' 54mm generic range.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Steve Barber collection -the rest of the samurai

... And here are all of my armored Steve barber samurai, divided into a couple factions. The red figures have been mostly left alone, most of the conversion work going to the sashimono and crests. All the figures here (and in the previous post) have had their weapons replaced with ones I've hammered and shaped out of brass rod.

The black faction here has had the most conversion work: Almost all of them are wearing a sleeveless haori-type jacket (I forget the correct name) that I added using greenstuff. I also custom built the wooden nobori and the helmet crests on the leaders.

That's it; that's my entire collection of Steve Barber Samurai. Want your own? Go to Steve Barber Models and look under the 42mm ranges. Are you looking to try a different scale but samurai aren't your thing? Steve's 42mm ranges also include some Three Musketeers, and Conquistadors and Aztecs. Sure, it's a niche scale, but if you've been wanting to try painting a larger scale figure, these are a great in-between stage on which to practice. And at 3.50 pounds per figure, the price is pretty good for the scale (and especially the sculpting quality.)

My Steve Barber collection- the big photo

This isn't my entire collection; this is just the unarmored samurai with which I love to do skirmish games. I still have the two armored bushi factions (which are still for sale.) If I find a little time, maybe I'll take a similar group photo of those.

All of these (37) figures were made using 11 poses (five of those poses are the ninja, and that entire front row of peasants was made/converted using only two poses.) Each figure is unique, not just in paint, but also in variations of pose (some slight), or the addition or subtraction of hair/facial hair or clothes, or the changing of weapons or swapping of heads.

Yep, definitely my favorite figures out of any of my collections. I just felt like sharing them again (even though, I'm sure most of you have already seen these in other forums ad nauseum.) I'm too damn proud not to show them off :)

Photography note: I got that stepped effect by placing a food-can shelf organizer underneath the (vff) suede mat I use for many things.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rocket Racers: HS38 X-3 and X-4

 Here are my last two HS-38 rocket conversions (from Bombshell Miniatures.) The X-3 was pretty straightforward: I added a third engine and fin below the two main engines. It was a simple conversion. The only other thing I had to change was to level out the original wings.

The second rocket has had the wings removed since I last posted a photo. I had some extra green stuff so I added some extra body work over the top of the main fuselage in front of the pilot. The paint job on the fuselage is take straight from a P-51 Mustang.

So that ends a quick flurry of painting over the past week or two. I still have a lot of zombies to paint, and I'm still working on my rocket racing rules. I'm also in the mood to maybe play a couple skirmish games with the new samurai.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

42mm Samurai: Archer

Here's another archer. Same old sculpt but with a new head taken from the new multipart figures. Nothing new to say here that hasn't been said before. One thing: If you're looking for a nice figure to practice painting folds on, this is that figure. Folds and creases all over, and very easy to paint.

Next up:

Mice and Mystics: Painting the centipede basics

I got a request for a simple tutorial on how to paint the centipede figure from the Mice and Mystics board game, so here it is:

1: Start by priming your centipede black or brown, or prime it white and then paint a base coat of dark or medium brown over the whole figure. The diagram represents each segment of your centipede. Do each step to all the segments before proceeding to the next step. The unnumbered step in the diagram represents the belly portion of each segment; it uses the same general technique, but with lighter colors.

2. The top of the segment is the part that is pointing toward the head, and is also somewhat tucked under the segment ahead of it. So this part will be in shade, while the back (bottom in the diagram) will be more in the light. Choose a darker brown than your base coat and paint a swatch on the front third of the segment all the way to the next segment. At the back, paint some basic strokes with a brown or tan that are lighter than the base coat. I rushed through this diagram, but you will want to make your strokes long and thin with points tapering toward the middle of the segment.

3. Now choose a lighter tan and do the same thing as in step 2, painting thin strokes over those you've already painted. These strokes should be shorter than the previous strokes. Do the same with either a darker brown or even black at front of the segment, keeping those strokes within the brown swatch painted in step 2.

4. At the back of the segment, repeat step 3 with even lighter-colored and shorter strokes. At the front, paint a black line to separate this segment from the next. You can do this with brush and paint, or with a little black ink wash.

5. Finally, do a fine light -- almost white -- line across the back of the segment. It can be a straight line, or a line of closely packed dots (to help blend in with all the previous strokes.)

That's it! You can use the same technique for the belly segments using lighter colors (or any palette you prefer), as well as for the legs and antennae -- just use longer and thinner strokes. Paint the eyes your preferred color, and that should finish off your centipede. I like a gloss varnish on this figure to give that exoskeleton some sheen.

You can also use this basic technique to paint your roaches. Simple paint each roach as if it's one segment.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Rocket Racers: The Big'uns

Here are my two new assembled HS38 Rockets by Bombshell Miniatures. I'll call them the X-3 and X-4 models (three- and four-engine, experimental.)

The conversions were very easy owing to the nice resin. I sliced off some wings, filed down some edges, drilled a couple pinning holes, and added a nose cone with some green stuff. I'll give the glue and green stuff plenty of time to cure, and will start priming tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have a couple pilots to clean up and assemble. I might also go back and add some more green stuff to smooth out that nose cone, though, I'm not unhappy with it.

I should have ordered another pilot so I could put together this nice little Scooty Puff Jr. model.

Update: I almost forgot to do one more thing to my X-4; I clipped the wings. I wanted it to have less of a "flying" look and more of a "speed" look.  And these ships are mostly supposed to be flying through space, anyway, so there's no need for wings. (And yes, the pilots aren't wearing pressure suits, but I prefer to see them in the spirit of retro scifi, when all you needed was a leather jacket and a gas mask to survive in space.)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

42mm Samurai: Monk

Here's another figure made using Steve Barber's multipart samurai. Unlike the others, this one has had some conversion work done.

First, I swapped in the head from the monk archer figure. Then I added a sash using green stuff. To give the illusion of a robe, instead of sculpting the entire robe over the figure, I simply added the two bottom flaps tucked under the obi/belt, and painted the flaps and the kimono top the same color (yellow.) The naginata was hammered from brass rod as usual, with the hand guard made from a little cured circle of green stuff.

I'd like to add a couple more monks, though, I'm not quite sure how I'll go about it. I'll probably use another multipart figure, but I'll look through Steve's catalogue to see what other monk-ish conversions are awaiting as my confidence with green stuff grows. I could do almost the exact conversion to Steve's peasant figures as I did with this figure, but  I'd need to get some more archers from which to swap the heads. In any case, that's a project for later; I have a couple more rockets on their way!

42mm Samurai: Multipart figures

Here are the first three (of four) multipart samurai/ronin by Steve Barber. None of these figures have had any conversion work done to them; they were all done right out of the box.

The figure comes with a torso, and a choice of head and arms (holding spear or sword.) The arms a bit fiddly, but nothing some basic modelling skills can't handle. The sculpts are Steve's usual high quality, and these figures will fit in with and expand nicely the collection I've already built up.

I have another archer to paint; I swapped the archer's monk head for one of the new heads from these multipart figures. The fourth mulitpart figure I have has had a bit of conversion work done to him. I left him out of this bunch to emphasize how easy it is to make a variety of figures without the need to convert. Now, if you DO want to convert, the multipart figure really opens up the possibilities. Anyway, that fourth figure has been converted into a naginata-wielding monk. I'm slowly but surely building my small cadre of monks.

Other things that I might commission in the future could include new heads for this figure, or new arms (another sword pose? shooting a bow or arquebus? drawing a sword?) Perhaps a new torso/legs to fit the already-sculpted arms and heads?