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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flashpoint Fire Rescue firefighters

I followed up the end of the Zombicide kickstarter by painting some of my leftover survivors, so I figured I'd follow up the end of the latest Flashpoint Fire Rescue kickstarter by finishing up my firefighters.

This is the full set offered in the Extreme Danger box set. The very first figure, I tried painting using my regular style, but the more realistic style just didn't fit the cartoon style of the sculpts. So I simplified and did flat colors. The black got a dark gray highlight and I may have done layers here and there, but for the most part (the HAZMAT technician is a big exception), I only applied one layer of color. I did, however, weather the figures with a drybrushing of tan once they were all painted. I think they turns out great, and I can't wait to get them back into action.

I'm not sure if I want to colorize the bases. I have the slip-on, color-coded rings, but I'm afraid those will strip the paint off the bases. I think the sculpts are unique enough for each player to pick his own out of the crowd. My figures from the original set do have colorized bases, since they are all the same sculpt.

The newer figures all fit into a small Chessex figure case with space left over for three of the older figures (in case more people want to be just generalists.) The Chessex case fits nicely into the box with space enough for counters and rule books. I have all my map boards in the expansion box (with not too much space to spare.) Everything I need for a fun night of firefighting is all in two boxes. Semper vigilans!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Zombicide: Shannon and Bones

This is Shannon (from Toxic City Mall) and Bones (from the Adrian Smith Art box.) I kept both of these survivors simple -- no conversion work at all. They are both great sculpts. I chose the yellow/white combo for Bones' guitar to add some contrast against the darker clothing.

This Shannon figure is actually her zombivor version, but I thought it worked well as a nice and gritty survivor. Something I've decided to do is not paint up my zombivors as I had originally planned (gray skin with color clothing as a middle transition between my full-color survivors and my black and white zombies.)
There are a few reasons for this decision: My friends and I usually don't play with zombivors; It would be difficult to match up the clothing with those survivors I've painted up; and, just as Shannon here, many of the zombivors work nicely as veteran survivors. It's not that I need any more survivors for Zombicide, but it's nice to have the extras for other post-apoc games (All Things Zombie and After the Horsemen by Two Hour Wargames being my main culprits.) It's also nice to have a few "alternate" sculpts to choose from if anyone so chooses.

For now, those zombivors not getting painted up as survivors are getting painted up as black and white walkers. I guess they could be used as unique VIP zombie sculpts. What's great about painting these in black and white is that if I decide to paint them up as zombivors using my original scheme, all I have to do is paint up the clothing and I'm done.

Matt varnish

If you've been following along, you'll remember that I've been having issues with tacky primer/varnish. Today I picked up some Vallejo brush-on matt varnish. The sealer I had been using worked fine, but it left a glossy sheen on the figure. So I'm trying out the Vallejo varnish. It seems to be working; it certainly dries more matt than most others. I'll keep you appraised in the long term. Thank goodness I'm not getting my new Zombicide stuff until the winter time when it's nice and dry. I've never had so much trouble with humidity affecting my priming.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Zombicide: The end "was" near!

This figure actually started out as Padre Johnson from the Adrian Smith guest artist box. I wanted the box for the other figure (Bones,) but for the price, I was certainly going to find a use for that other figure, which I didn't much like.

It didn't take much to come up with the idea of the sandwich board. The conversion was also quit easy: I simply cut a couple rectangles out of plasticard, scored it with an awl, glued it on the body (the boards are held in place with green stuff,) and finally adding the straps which were made with twisted twine.

Both sides of the board have a layer of dust/grime at the bottom and the backside of the board is faded; it's meant  to represent a momento of Johnson's previous job. And the meaning of the phrase on the front? Usually, the cliche phrase on a crazy guy's sandwich board is "The end is near!" Well, the zombie apocalypse came. Thus, "(I) told you so."

So, instead of almost becoming a throw away figure, Johnson (I've dropped the "Padre") has been added to the ranks of my favorites figures (shown below.) These are my favorites based on look alone -- I haven't played enough to know which of these figures has the best skills or combinations or what not -- I'm an artist, I like something that looks cool. Bones, the other figure in this box set, I think will also get added to my "favorites" selections.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Zombicide: Survivor with mojo

Here's a painted copy of Thiago I managed to snag. I kept with thew 60s/Austin Powers theme and painted him up with some godaweful pastel flowers. Green pants and white accents complete the tacky ensemble.

The face was difficult; the figures are tall, but the faces seem tiny and the detail a touch flat -- at least on this figure. I may go back and see what I can do to fix it. I also find it a little difficult to paint around those glasses. Still, the overall effect of the figure turned out fine for me.

The pattern is actually quite easy. I first painted the base color of the shirt (storm blue.) Then I chose some good Easter/pastel colors and painted the flower petals -- there was no pattern to laying them out, just start filling up space on his shirt. Then I did the flower centers with either a bright orange or a light blue. Finally, I painted random tiny splotches of light green to fill in those random areas where I couldn't fit small enough flowers.

I may do a few more figures with heavily patterned shirts to add to Thiago and my Joshua as a team for some  pvp action.

(Note: In keeping with the Austin Power's theme, I also painted the gun silver after I took this photo.)

A couple priming notes

So I found some of my Zombicide figures to be a little tacky. I'm not sure if they had been figures I used a different primer on (Army Painter) or if the figures had a slightly different plastic recipe or what, but I brushed on some acrylic sealer, and that seemed to do the trick.

This latest pair (I also have a Kyoko) also turned up a little tacky after priming with the usual Testors Flat Black, but it has also been a humid day, so that could also be a major factor.
In any case, after priming, once the primer has dried as dry as it will go, a layer of brushed-on acrylic paint (or sealer) usually solves the problem. I will also try a a thin layer of dullcote over a test figure to see if that helps. But first, i have to wait for the humidity to go down (It's been bad lately.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Some Kickstarter news

Here are a few Kickstarter campaigns some of you might be interested in. One interesting concept, an expansion by a solid KS retailer, and one mega campaign. Check'em out!

"Hostage Negotiator."
In "Hostage Negotiator," you play a negotiator trying to talk down an abductor while saving hostages. You do this via conversation cards, trying to lower the "threat  level track," among other things (dice, hand-building, words) -- OK, OK, OK -- so I haven't really read all the rules just yet; honestly, I saw "solo" and I saw the original gaming concept of "hostage negotiation," and I said yes.

I'm a big solo gamer, but I also enjoy a great theme, so this was almost a no-brainer for me (I still glanced at the rules before pledging, but they seem solid enough, especially for the low entry point of $20.)

There is a link to the rules from the KS campaign site, so I urge you to check it out, even if you don't plan on pledging.

Flashpoint: Fire Rescue
Also just starting is another Flashpoint: Fire Rescue expansion called "Call of Duty." This is a double-sided map expansion that includes a burning plane and a subway disaster and markers to play the boards.

The KS also offers a new specialist card AND another gameboard with alternative basement and attic sides (not available with retail version of the expansion.) This is another low-cost KS, with an entry point of $15 (which nabs the maps and card.)

The Flashpoint expansion KS only lasts for 14 days, so don't wait too long.

Zombicide 3
Love'em or hate'em, this campaign is doing amazing. Honestly, it doesn't need help, but I put it here JUST in case you forgot it was going on. I enjoy the game, but I also love having that horde of zombies and survivors that I can use for other games (All Things Zombie, After the Horsemen, and Zed or Alive, for example.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Samurai: Swordsmen and gangs

Here are the last of my samurai for a while. One is one of the newer unarmored bandits. I've given him a paint job with plenty of red in it after deciding to put together a samurai gang based around the color (see below.)

This figure took a little bit of conversion work to finish. First, he has received a new head (that of a mad man; who better to lead on of the gangs?) I pounded out a nodachi for him and sculpted a new hand so that his hold is correct. The pose works great! (And yes, that's a head on the ground near his feet.) I went with some improvisation on the designs of the kimono and haori, but making sure there was red in the scheme (yep- leader of the Red Gang.)

These will be the last of the samurai figures for while (unless I come into some more money to commission some more, or manage to clear out a bunch of other minis -- By the way, my 42mm bushi are still for sale.) These gangs have almost doubled the size of my samurai collection, which remains my favorite.

The Collection

Here are my Edo gangs and all of my other factions for partaking in small skirmishes. The peasants can be used to beef up the gangs or to combine with the monks for a nice-sized Ikko Ikki gang.

The Red Gang

The Pretty Boys
The War Veterans

The Peasants, led, by a couple of priests

Every samurai collection needs some monks.

Lord Hiroto and retainers
The ronin
An older photo, but I still love my ninja.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Samurai: Partially armored spearmen

Here are the last two copies of the latest Steve Barber 42mm samurai sculpt I have. I gave them armored heads (helmet and jingasa,) and dropped a yari in their hands. This is an easy figure to convert; the heads come separate, and the hands are open to accept any weapon you choose to arm the warrior with.

Below is the base figure (center) available in Steve's catalogue as well as two conversions. The conversions are very easy (just new heads and weapons,) though, I had to create my own nodachi.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Samurai: Bandit with nodachi

This is the same sculpt as the last figure, but with a new head (turned) and a new weapon (nodachi.) I like how just those two small changes make for a good variant. Not much to say about these except that this new sculpt brings a bit of new character to the gangs. A couple more figures to go, and then I'll post some nice group shots of my full gangs.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Samurai: Armored Bandit

Here's the latest sculpt available from Steve Barber Models. It comes with a separate head and small tetsubo. You can easily replace the tetsubo with a yari or naginata.

I enjoy painting this figure; he went fast and looks good even with a simple scheme. I have three more copies of this figure (all with different heads and/or weapons.) They'll be making an appearance in the days to come.

This particular figure will be going into the ranks of my Edo gangs, but, with a long spear and head wearing either a helmet or jingasa (or even bare head), this sculpt would fit in nicely in the ranks of ashigaru.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Pulp hero

Nothing major, just a random figure I pulled from the lead mountain. This is a Copplestone figure from his Back of Beyond Range; I believe it's from the Russian Sailors Command, but I painted him to just be a random hero/character to add to my collection of pulp figures.

The new samurai are all primed. Everything has been moving slow because I've also been working heavily with my 2D art (pen and ink, and watercolors.) But the samurai will certainly get painted.