Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Getting some odds and ends done

I haven't been finding a lot of time to hobby lately with real-life and all.  I did however finish two of the characters I had started in my last post as well as getting 2 other figures I wanted to experiment with painted.

First up I painted the Frostgrave Crusader figure.   Although I am planning a return to Frostgrave in the next month or so I actually painted this guy up to try out the Relic Blade rules.  I'll be printing the how-to-play document and trying it out with the knight and the pig-men.


Next up is a cleric from the WizKids D&D miniatures line.  This is actually going to be my new wizard for Frostgrave with his apprentice hopefully arriving soon.


I also decided to try something new on the WizKids Hell Hounds.  I don't need them anytime soon, I just wanted to try something new.  It worked out pretty well, but unfortunately didn't photograph great.



These figures are supplied in clear vinyl.  I gave each figure 3 washes of Baal Red and then once that was dry dry-brushed dark grey and black over-top.  It turned out great with the red showing through and really catching the light, but unfortunately it just seems to photograph a somewhat muddy-brown colour.


Hopefully this gets me back on the painting horse.

-Jay

Monday, 11 September 2017

The hobby A.D.D. it never really goes away....

I've referenced Hobby A.D.D. before and although I generally feel like I get quite a lot of stuff done there are periods where my attention span won't stay on one thing and I keep changing gears and starting new projects without finishing old ones.
So with that insight in mind I'd like to share the 5 hobby projects I started over the past 3 days, none of which are completed yet.

Cowboys!

I've been talking for awhile about getting some new cowboys done.  I got my grubby hands on Dracula's America and even though I have a decent amount of stuff done from my recent binge of Warhammer Legends Of The Old West I can't bring myself to play a new game without adding at least some new figures.  These guys are the Earp (or Tombstone I forget the actual name) pack by Black Scorpion.

Orcs!

As part of my recent retro/nostalgia-gaming fix I got some of the Orcs by Antediluvian Miniatures.  These guys immediately take me back to Saturday mornings in the early 80s.  I think my gift to myself when I get all 5 of these projects done will be to get myself another pack or two of Antediluvian Miniatures.

Venger!

Those Orcs need a boss, right?  I might be one of the few people of my generation who could never really embrace Optimus Prime as a noble hero because every time he opens his mouth to speak I hear Venger's voice.  Venger was the chief villain of the animated D&D series in the 80s and still holds up really well as a cool fantasy evil villain.

Frostgrave!

I'm planning a long overdue return to Felstad and much like the cowboys I probably don't need to paint new figures but I just wouldn't be me if I rolled up with the same-old-same-old.  The actual driver for starting these was digging through my unpainted fantasy figures looking for a knight with two-handed sword to try the free print-and-play intro rules for Relic Blade with my newly painted pigmen.

Survivors!

Almost a year ago I ordered a bunch of packs of modern/near-future survivor models with the intention of using them for This Is Not A Test as well as Last Days.  Unfortunately my experience in purchasing these models was not 'free of hassles' and when they finally arrived I had lost any and all enthusiasm I had for them.  (This was one of the customer service things I was up on a soapbox about earlier this year.)  It has literally taken me an entire year to even look at these miniatures again but once I picked them up I decided I really did want to get paint on them.  Oddly enough it wasn't until I looked at them up close I even realised who they were supposed to be.  I had ordered them thinking they would make good pseudo Division-style trained survivors but then when I cleaned and primed them I realised they are actually the two leads from Stargate SG-1.

Well there you have it.  Nothing done, but a bunch of projects that are each one sit-down away from completion.

-Jay

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Young Cleric

I feel like I've been all over the map painting-wise this last little bit and its pretty much time to stop pretending to have a plan and just accept that I'm going to paint what I want when I feel like it.

I've got three different projects sitting on my desk that I 'need' to complete but that didn't stop me from just painting a new character model for a sometime in the future D&D game.



This is the newish Young Male Human Cleric from Darksword miniatures.  This is one of those figures that again has a certain old-school D&D vibe but is sculpted and cast to our modern higher standards.  I like this figure because it captures the feeling of a low-level beginning adventurer rather than a high-level paragon type.

I'm not sure if/when this guy will hit the tabletop but its the kind of character I play frequently so having another option isn't a bad thing.

-Jay

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Yet more and different Pig-Men

In addition to a possible Wonderland themed D&D game I've also started prep on another more classic or 'regular' style fantasy game.  I've collected up a bunch of pig-faced-orcs by my friend Ash also recently hooked me up with some actual Pig-Men for the Relic Blade skirmish game.  These are absolutely fantastic figures and fit me current vibe of 'old-school but new'.

Pig-Man #1 is armed with a sword and shield.  I feel like unless another piggy miniature comes across my path I'm guessing this guy will be the chief/boss/bully for this encounter.



Pig-Man #2 is equipped for two-weapon fighting.  As an aside I've always found it odd that two-weapon fighting is a popular option for PCs but few humanoid monsters come equipped that way.



Pig-Man #3 is carry a mighty two-handed battle-axe.  In addition to his axe he has a really well-textured belly plate.




I'm not quite sure how pig-men became my thing but looking at two other projects on my desk, apparently they are in fact my thing.

-Jay

Friday, 25 August 2017

Reinforcements for Black Squadron Security

Following on my last post as an add-on to my Broken Contract game I did get a few of the Ash Walker figures.

Ash's background is that he's a member of Black Squadron Security (hence the gear and armour) but is sympathetic to the Breakers and may take their side (hence the absence of Black Squadron Security logo on his armour.


This is a great figure on multiple levels.  First up the sculpting is great with some great depth and texture.  The gear is not only suitable for Broken Contract but potentially many other near future games as well (he'll be the latest addition to my Peacekeepers for This Is Not A Test).  And he comes with multiple arms and heads so he can be assembled in various configurations.  In addition to the 'basic' model I assembled one with the riot helmet and taser-rifle.


A funny thought occurred to me while taking pictures tonight.  My friend Darren asked me a few posts ago to start including pictures of the backs of some of my miniatures.  For the most part I've never thought that was really necessary but this time out I'm including one.  For some reason the only scene that really sticks with me from Iron Man 3 is when Tony Stark is tied to a bed frame in a basement/dungeon and while insulting his captors he refers to one of them as "Pony-tail-express".  Painted my Ash Walker figure and it all came flooding back....


Alright, now maybe I'm painting cowboys...or maybe I'm not.

-Jay

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Review - Broken Contract

A while back I was posting some content for a miniature line by Breaker Press for their proposed future game Broken Contract.  That game then went to Kickstarter where it was successfully funded and has just recently shipped out.  I received my copy this weekend and decided to play a little show and tell.

First up Broken Contract is set in a dystopian future where a significant portion of humanity lives under "contract" (read as; legal slavery) to a number of mega-corporations using them in the most cost-effective manner possible.  The game universe is really well realised through it's art and fiction that has previously been shared through documents on Breaker Press' Facebook page and web store.  To give you a taste here are the front and back of the box my game rules and supplemental components shipped in:



In the basic scenarios for Broken Contract the miners (or Breakers) are basically trying to escape their life of enslavement to the FerrumSky corporation and obtain their freedom.  FerrumSky has employed the private security company Black Squadron Security to keep the miners in check.
The game mechanics themselves are very straightforward but allow for a variety of tactical choices once you start playing.  Attacks are actively resisted so you may choose to attack a specific way based on either your own strengths or your perception of your enemies weaknesses.

The rulebook is attractive and really well laid out.  Personally I really like some of the choices in the design of the book as it makes it feel like a real document in a lived in world somewhat reminiscent of some of the older better quality Top Secret modules.



Lastly on the component-side Broken Contract also shares some conventions with some of the current design of popular miniatures-based board games.  Each character has a dashboard that can be loaded with cards representing various equipment and abilities which is handy because during play some gear can be stolen or handed off.
If you're an old-timey gamer like me the game also includes roster sheets for recording your warband in the more 'traditional' style.

From a game-play point of view the game hits a similar sweet-spot for me that This Is Not A Test hit.  The core mechanics are actually extremely straight forward and simple but some of the options for different attacks and defence as well as scenario specific objectives make the game very fluid without actually becoming overly complicated.  

If you like small scale miniature skirmish games that add-in some RPG and board-game elements Broken Contract is well worth it.  And it should be noted that even though they are a separate purchase from the game itself the miniature line that accompanies the game is full of terrific sci-fi figures that somehow manage to feel unique and familiar at the same time.  I highly recommend this game!

-Jay

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Jaqar Thief of Vornheim and Space Pirate

Following the 5th season of the Dungeon Crawl Classics game I'm playing in it was definitely time for an update to my character model.

Jaqar started out as a Thief on the mean streets of Vornheim cutting purses and generally living the hard scrabble life of a downtrodden medieval peasant but after joining with a group of adventurers found himself magically transported to the distant Purple Planet where he fought an assortment of weird aliens and alien/human hybrids.

Our last season ended with the group finding a spaceship that due to a few lucky rolls and the addition of a skull-mask/cap Jaqar was able to figure out how to pilot.  As part of their change in scenery and circumstance the group adopted the uniforms of the former ship crew which were basically colour-coded boiler suits.  Jaqar took to wear an orange uniform but after some reflection on my part I realised he's been too consistently squishy to stop wearing his armour so he's thrown his studded leather on over top of his crew uniform (and added a shield) for the group's new journey to the stars.


Jaqar is made up of a bunch of different plastic components.  I started with the same bretonian body as the original model to represent his armour.  He's got the head from a Frostgrave Cultist so I could get a neat looking helm/mask, and a Frostgrave soldier sprue provided his new shield.  For his arms and legs I cut them off a Heroclix Arkham Inmate model.  To finish off he has a sword from the bretonian men-at-arms sprue and a backpack from the Warlord British Infantry for Bolt Action.  A lot of chopping and swapping....

And here's the original for comparison.


Overall I'm pretty happy with how he turned out.

It might be cowboy time now.......

-Jay