Thursday, 28 November 2013

She started out as as skeptic, but now...

The third member of my initial Threshold team for Strange Aeons is Dianna Skully.  I picked her colour scheme and look based on Dana Scully from the X-Files slightly re imagined as a pulp period character.

I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted a mix of skill types for my characters and Dianna is filling the academic role.  This is a tough character in the game to develop because her lack of combat skills and upgrades has made her survivability (through my first 3 games anyway) quite poor but she hasn't yet developed the skills to be particularly useful as a treasure seeker/researcher.  I did catch one lucky break early on, she sustained a major injury in her first game and got a lucky roll on the recovery chart so she is now basically fearless.

So far I'm happy with what I have but I think I need to add 2 types of figures to this collection so I have some other choices when I inevitably need a replacement for a fallen team member.  First I need at least one and hopefully two generic armed men in suits as replacement Threshold agents if I want another combat oriented character, secondly I need to paint up a couple of legitimately academic looking (students, professors) characters so that I can potentially replace a single fallen Threshold agent with multiple cheaper civilian characters.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Two war buddies with the Innsmouth Look

Over the years my gaming hobby has had a strange relationship with H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos.  I've always been a fan of the background and I've read all of Lovecraft's better known works but even though Call Of Cthulhu is one of those RPGs that's been around for ever I have only ever played it once, and that was about 20 years ago.  I'm not sure why it's never been a game system or setting that I've used but I suspect a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm not entirely convinced nameless horror and not being sure if you're going insane or not works well with a group dynamic.

Fast forward to now and there is a new way to game Cthulhu, Strange Aeons, a skirmish miniature game that none-the-less has some narrative and story telling elements anchored in Cthulhu mythology.  In preparation for my first games I dug through my backlog (by the way the one thing it turns out I don't have a lot of is 'pulp' miniatures) and I came up with these 2 figures to represent my first two Threshold Agents.

For my first 3 Threshold Agents (the third one should be done tomorrow) I took a mix of skill types and equipment.  My leader is Rick O'Connell (the guy with the 2 pistols) and he's an all-round solid fighter type who is brave and decent at either ranged or close combat.  His buddy Nigel Bottomtooth will eventually be filling a sniper role on my team, I say eventually because until he's acquired another skill or two he's actually nothing special with that rifle.  My final team member is more of a scholar but we'll cover her tomorrow.

If you're considering another skirmish game I would definitely give Strange Aeons a look.  The rules are balanced and there are some interesting scenarios in there.  My only knock against it would be that starting out it isn't really possible to end up with any characters that feel like the hero or protagonist of a story...but maybe that's really kind of the point.


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Blood Angels: Beginning my Tactical Squads

I started work on my first 3 Tactical Marines a few days ago and thought I'd show how things start.

The plan is to do 2 Tactical Squads and I'm hoping to make 12 of the 14 bolter armed marines I need out of the simple 3 piece figs from the old 3 pack of marines.  I've tracked down 9 so far so I just need to get my grubby hands on 3 more and I'm set.
There are 3 reasons I've decided to use these figures to fill out the squads:
1.  Call me a traditionalist but I actually like the poses.
2.  After my recent trauma with plastic figures falling apart on me I'm not excited to assemble the 10 separate pieces to make each bolter armed trooper.
3.  I'm being lazy.

The basic process I've used starting all my red Blood Angels figures is 3 steps before I do any detail work:

1.  Clean and assemble all the figures

2.  Thoroughly undercoat every figure in black

3.  Spray on a light coat of Army Painter Pure Red Spray

The reason I undercoat black and then spray the red as opposed to the more traditional (when using coloured sprays approach) just spray a heavier coat of red to do double duty as paint and primer is I like the somewhat uneven look using the red spray over a black primer gives me.  It looks more like the armour itself is actually painted red and less like it's been cast from a red armoured material.

My next 3 steps should be showing up here in a day or two.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Orc Characters

These are the 2 pig-faced Orc characters I have done so far.

Not much to say here, obviously one is a fighter type and one is a shaman/wizard.

I think I'll be starting something a little different tomorrow.


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Ex Illis....some mixed feelings

As part of my ongoing prep for my Witchfire Trilogy campaign I realised there would be a number of occasions where I would need figures for members of the city watch.  These are basically men-at-arms wearing heavy armour and armed with halberds.  I got a copy of Ex Illis a couple of years ago so I already had the perfect figures on hand and I'd been looking for an excuse to paint them for a little while.

Once I dug these guys out I started going through all my Ex Illis stuff and getting really excited again.  The game has great figures and a fantastic plastic tabletop as well as a cool setting with lots of neat stuff.  I got so excited about the figures that when I was done putting together my men-at-arms I threw together this Decurion (an angelic army general) to lead my forces.

By way of a coincidence Ex Illis (which was discontinued about 18-24 months ago) is re-launching via a Kickstarter campaign.  The great thing about the re-launch is that this time they are going to publish a rulebook so you don't need an iPad to play the game.  I don't want to turn this into another discussion about the many reasons I'm not a fan of Kickstarter (support your local retailer by the way) but I do have to point out that this particular Kickstarter seems even more ridiculous than most.
Basically the only new product included in ANY of the Kickstarter packages is the rulebook, every other incentive or add-on or whatever is a model that existed before and has probably been sitting in a warehouse for a year. 
I say my feelings are mixed because I am still genuinely excited to be painting Ex Illis models again and I intend to support the game once I can make my purchases through a brick and mortar retailer again but this is exactly the kind of thing that makes me question whether crowd-funding is actually doing anything for us (you know us; the crowd) or if it's just become a low risk way for game companies to sell us products? 


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Judge Death

I said it would a bad guy and Judge Death is just about the baddest guy to ever square off against Judge Dredd.

I got this figure years ago as part of a bundle with a bunch of other Judges from Wargames Foundry and at the time I really wasn't interested in models for the dark judges at all.  Now here I sit years later wishing I had bought all 4 of them.

I basically did him up in the same colour scheme as the regular judges I just added in a bit of bone on his armour and painted his flesh in a more necrotic tone.


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Pig Faced Orcs...better late than never....

Well my plan to enter Strategies Games & Hobbies painting contest was foiled by what is fast becoming one of my main adversaries...going to the post office.

Two of three projects got finished but never actually got packed and sent so boo to me.  They are however hosting their Secret Santa event again this year and that was so much fun that I'm definitely doing it again.  I express shipped my entry last year but an event like that is too good to pass up.

Anyhow today I'm showing off 4 of the pig-faced Orcs from Otherworld.  These guys were painted alongside a more heavily armoured leader-type but I'm holding him back to show alongside the  Orc wizard figure I also got.

Hopefully I'll get my first dozen agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. done today!


Monday, 4 November 2013

Knight Of The Rose

I finished up my Knight Of The Rose from Fantization tonight.  The original plan was that he was going to stand in for Captain Helstrom in the Witchfire Trilogy but now that he's done I feel that he looks too young and once again not steampunky enough.

In spite of that I think he's a great looking figure and I'm really happy with how he turned out.  I'm not sure when I'll use him for a game but next time I'm a player (rather than a GM) in a fantasy RPG I might use him.  I'd say probably close to 50% of all the characters I've ever played in fantasy RPGs looked like this fig.