Thursday, 11 June 2020

Nothing lasts forever

This is my 686th and final post for this blog.

After some self-reflection I've realized that I'm not getting nearly as much out of this as I'm putting into it (which is stunning given how little I put into it sometimes).

I'll continue gaming with my friends but I won't be documenting painting, or reviewing adventures here any longer.

What's here will stay up until Blogger takes it down due to inactivity.  If I get motivated or inspired down the road I will in all probability start a new blog rather than revive this one.

To everyone who has ever commented on one of my posts; thank you very much!  When I started this I was hoping to engage with other gamers and hobbyists so the comments really were the high-point and reward of this whole thing for me.

Be good to each other.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Red October Subs & Sandwiches

One of the things I decided I needed to add to my gaming collection is modern/post-apocalyptic buildings with interiors.  These are largely what all the scatter terrain I've been painting over the past couple of weeks will be populating.

About two or three years ago I bought a set from TT Combat that was 3 single floor store fronts with second floor apartments.  Unfortunately I assembled two of the buildings before I became aware of a problem (it's one of those 'now that I've seen it, I can't unsee it' things), there is no way to get from the first floor to the second floor.  For my third building I will be cutting out a hole in the ceiling/floor to accommodate a staircase but for the two I've already built I just decided to leave the second floor off.



I should also point out to anyone new to MDF scenery that it largely comes in two flavours; super basic having no interior detail but being amazingly inexpensive, and fully detailed but far more expensive.  All of the TT Combat buildings I got fall into the first category.  That may seem basic but the price was amazing and they can be dressed up with scatter terrain.

I actually tried something a little different this time and undercoated the building dark brown and then painted over top of that.  I was hoping to get more of a dirty worn look and that seems to have worked out fairly well.  I also decided to add a splash of colour and detail by wallpapering the interior walls, which I think makes the building look more like a real place and less like a model kit.

I took these pictures while I was waiting for the Mod-Podge on the paper to dry so I will probably still go back and dirty it up a bit.  I also kept the doors I cut off the building as I may use those as rubble or in another terrain project.

What are your thoughts?  For about $10 worth of kit and material an less than 2 hours work I'm really happy with this and using it as a template I should be able to get a reasonable collection of buildings done fairly quickly.

-Jay

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Are those mattresses....sanitary?

I mentioned in my last post that after acquiring my 'fantasy' beds I had found some beds more appropriate to post-apocalyptic gaming.

A few years ago when I placed my first order for TT Combat buildings I grabbed a couple of their resin accessory packs which included these...gently-used mattresses.



These are perfect as they look like the exact bedding you find scattered around the capitol wasteland in Fallout 3.

My collection of scatter terrain is filling in nicely but hopefully on Tuesday I'll have time to finally complete a more sizable piece.

-Jay

Friday, 22 May 2020

Now I lay me down to sleep

Although I'm finally getting around to getting an assortment of scatter terrain done a fair bit of it is stuff I've collected over the past few years.  Quite awhile back when I started playing This Is Not A Test I bought these Reaper Bones beds, they're intended for fantasy games, but I thought their ramshackle appearance would fit in with the look of post apocalyptic games.


As it turns out I found something else that will work better for This Is Not A Test and Fallout that you'll hopefully be seeing in a few days.  But having said that it's still nice to have these and they should work as set dressing in a variety of games.

I got these Reaper beds as well as many of my other miniatures and games from my Friendly Local Game Store.

-Jay

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Some odds and ends

Yesterday was one of those days I picked away at a few small projects and almost finished projects while trying to get some coherent writing done.  Nothing earth shattering here but one more figure I actually needed with a lot of urgency (played using him as my PC last night), and two more sci-fi scatter terrain bits.

First up; Flint.

Flint Stone is my character for Advanced Fighting Fantasy.  He is a member of the Hanna-tribe which of course makes him a Hanna-Barbarian (I'm a dad, I'm allowed to tell dad jokes!).  Anyway Flint is made out of the Northstar Frostgrave Barbarian box set with a Bolt Action backpack thrown on to complete the wandering adventurer look.



Flint did mostly pretty well in his first game until a short run of bad luck (literally, I couldn't make a single 'luck' roll) and I'm looking forward to playing more Fighting Fantasy in the near future.  I also appear to have begun collecting a small tribe of barbarians since last year. 

There's definitely one more Barbarian in my near future and then it will definitely be time to move on.

The other thing I realized late yesterday afternoon while prepping some more Broken Contract figures is that I had the two bases of oil drums I'd gotten with my two female Gen-Mods just sitting around and I could get them done quickly.


I actually tried something slightly different this time and I think it worked out pretty well, but it may have been just a bit too subtle to show up in my pictures.  For the oil drums I started off by dry-brushing them metallic (Lead Belcher in this case), then painted them with a watered-down yellow (Averland Sunset), and then I hit them with a super light dry-brush of the same metallic again.  This gives the effect of painted drums where the paint is wearing off but no necessarily super-rough or dirty.

So that's it.  I have a few more lingering almost finished figures I'd like to wrap up this weekend and then it's back to the wasteland.

-Jay

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Review - Harper's Tale

Today I want to take a look at a 10 chapter, 170 page adventure path for D&D characters of levels 1-10; Harper's Tale.

Harper's Tale is named for lead developer Matt Corley's daughter (and co-lead developer) Harper.  The adventures mix the inspiration and youthful-fun outlook of a child with the sensibilities of an experienced game author to contribute something truly new and unique to the current RPG scene.

The creative team behind Harper's Tale reads like an all-star team of freelance writers and artists currently working in the RPG industry, and it's not just a list of names on the credits page of a book, the quality and experience this team brings really shines through.  Harper's Tale is gorgeously illustrated throughout but I want to call special attention to the fantastic character illustrations by Gwendy Bee, these illustrations are bright and appealing while still conveying a sense of mystery and the fantastic.  In addition to the amazing art I found all of the cartography to be easy to read and use and clearly laid out where I needed it.

The ten adventures themselves are all written by separate writers or writing teams and one of their nicest features is they are structured so that in addition  to making up one ten adventure long campaign they are also all framed so they can be run as individual one-shots.  The central story mixes investigation and adventure as the characters start off by investigating a mysterious illness and follow various leads and clues looking for both the source and a cure.  The adventure path is set in the wilderness but uses many different settings for individual adventures (forests, small villages, dungeons, multi-room buildings) to give the ten adventures a great deal of variety.

In addition to a number of different settings the adventure path is full to the brim with interesting NPCs that not only work well within the narrative but could also be used to seed other adventures, for my part I GUARANTEE my players will meet Professor Piewright at some point prior to actually playing Harper's Tale.

And I couldn't resist the urge to convert and paint my own Sir Cheddar!

Overall I highly recommend Harper's Tale.  There is an absolutely amazing amount of the highest quality content here and the mix of art and writing style really evokes the sense of fantastic mystery, fun, and discovery that I think the best fantasy RPG adventures are capable of.

Harper's Tale is currently available from DrivethruRPG at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/311843/Harpers-Tale-A-Forest-Adventure-Path-for-5e?term=Harper

-Jay

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Barricades, Scatter Terrain, and Objective Markers

Although I've still got a few miniatures I need to get painted in the next few days I've decided to take a short detour and get some modern/near-future/post-apocalyptic terrain done.  Traditionally I've done most of my gaming away from my home so my terrain collection has been relatively sparse for the amount of gaming I do.  With everything going on in the world right now I've been exploring solo miniature gaming a bit and it's definitely highlighted some shortfalls in my collection.  I'm reasonably well stocked for fantasy terrain but my modern/near-future collection is a little bit one-dimensional. 
The main things I wanted to get done over the next few days were some scatter terrain and one building with a detailed interior.  Today is the scatter terrain.

I've started with two of Mantic's Walking Dead All Out War scenery packs.  These packs are AMAZING and terrific value for money.  I highly recommend them to anyone looking for scatter terrain for any modern or near-future gaming.  The key features of the Walking Dead packs for me are that they are 'generic' real-world styled (so nothing to tie them to a specific game or even genre really) so they should work across every game I want to use them for, and being plastic they take paint well and should be very durable and hold up to regular use.

First up are the barricades.  The Walking Dead barricades are extremely well detailed without being cluttered or difficult to paint.  I also really appreciate that the sculptor put as much work into the backside of every barricade as they did in to the front facing side.



The thing I really liked visually about these barricades is that they have enough different materials and textures to be visually interesting without being too 'busy'.

Next up are the objective markers, which when not being used as objective markers can just be some clutter and window dressing for the tabletop.

The objective markers are nice (I have to come up with a better way to paint garbage bags though), with my one real criticism being that the backpack and the suitcase feel way too big and out of scale with the other pieces as well as the 25-28mm models they are meant to work with.  Having said that, having modeled representations of objectives rather than flat counters is a huge improvement and in my case (with two sets) I would only end up using them in games that required more than six objective markers.

I'm really happy with how all this stuff turned out and it looks good with pretty much any period appropriate models.

Next up is a single small building with some interior details!

And always please remember that The Walking Dead All Out War and many other great miniature games are available from your Friendly Local Game Store.

-Jay