Friday, 27 January 2017

When it rains it pours (in a good way!)

I haven't gotten as much painting as usual done this past week for the weirdest reason ever...I've been gaming...too much?

Normally my life gives me lots of opportunities to paint when I'm home with my family but getting out and devoting hours to playing is a bit beyond my schedule.  A normal rotation for me is that I get to play 1 game a week, frequently less.  In the past 5 days I've managed to play 4 games!

Sunday Ash and I wrapped up our Swineland campaign for This Is Not A Test.  I'm not going to give away the outcome but it was an awesome game where we both had our moments in the sun and every die-roll counted.  It was bittersweet to say good-bye to a campaign that has been so much fun but the best stories end before they jump the shark.  I'm looking forward to more This Is Not A Test in the near future as both the game-play and post game do a great job of telling a compelling story.

Sunday I also got to play my second game of the new/current version of Pulp City.  The Supreme Alliance once again took it to their cold war foes The Red Republik.  Now that I'm getting a bit more  used to the rules I'm really enjoying the game mechanics and looking forward to trying out some more new models.  I think I'm going to revisit my old models and maybe finally paint enough models from the Heavy Metal faction to make it a playable force.

Monday I DM'd the latest session in my Curse Of Strahd game.  The tone has changed a lot over the last two sessions. early on the game was heavy on exploration, discovery and an overwhelming fear of what was happening.  The party has now recovered some of the relics scattered about the domain and are seeing more combat.  Last session they got a bit lucky as they found their way into a conflict between two opposing faction and came within one decision of a TPK.  Victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat!

Last night I finally played my first game of Broken Contract.  It went the way of most of my first games of anything where I got a few rules wrong as I learned the game but I can say that by the second turn of the game Ash and I were getting it right and it felt very intuitive.  I'm looking forward to playing through the rest of the missions!

And that was my week of more than the normal amount of gaming.  I don't anticipate another week this game heavy for a while but I should be back to my paint table tonight!


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Wrapping up Black Squadron for Broken Contract before moving on to my Breakers

Last year I started working on my Black Squadron Security forces for Broken Contract.  My thought at the time was that I would both use them as Peacekeepers for This Is Not A Test and that eventually I would actually play some games of Broken Contract.  Well "eventually" is now five days away and I realised tonight that I never painted the last 2 models for my faction.

First up is Xer the Gen-Mod (genetically modified).  Gen-mods are artificially enhanced troopers and workers that are physical behemoths.  Xer is on a 40mm base and is roughly twice the size of a regular figure.  At the time I started painting Broken Contract figures I knew Xer would be the last figure I painted because I didn't have an immediate use for him for This Is Not A Test.  In hindsight I regret putting him off, he was definitely the figure in the collection I've enjoyed painting the most.  He's got a great deal of texture and is both extremely well sculpted and extremely well cast.

Smythe is an overseer for the security forces which basically means his job is to oppress miners.  Smythe is another nicely detailed figure with manacles, and a low-profile headset.

Part of moving Broken Contract back to front-of-mind for me was that the game's creator Nick Baran has just launched a Kickstarter for the rulebook and game collateral (which is also another great opportunity to buy these awesome figs).
Check out his Kickstarter at:

Nick is a great guy and I hope you'll all take a minute to check out an emerging product from a legitimate start-up company trying to find their place in our awesome hobby.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

First civilian models/counters for Pulp City!

Greetings citizens!

I'm gearing up for my second Pulp City game this weekend with the cold war forces.  I'm looking forward to how a game plays when I've actually read up on what my models can do.

One of the bits of collateral missing from our last game was civilians.  In Pulp City civilians serve a number of purposes and function as objectives in many scenarios.  Pulp Monsters offers silhouette standees for citizens but I always thought proper models would blend better with the scenery and look cooler.

Years ago I bought a ton of Heroclix models with the intention of repainting them and using them for other games.  For more than 5 years that box has been a great source of figures for  a lot of games I've played and once more I'm diving back in for some civies.  Much like Les Impes I've actually already done this project once before on different bases but I enjoy doing them so doing a second batch is no big deal

My first batch of 8 are mostly re-paints although a couple were more touch ups on existing paint jobs.  What's kind of neat about these figures is that Heroclix doesn't actually have a use for "civilians" per se so 5 of these 8 figures are actually meant to be various superheroes in their secret identities.  Feel free to make guesses in the comments below.  I'll honour Silver Age tradition by acknowledging "no-prizes" for successful guesses.

In addition to the 8 above I have 2 more done that I photographed separately because I'm involved in some hobby challenges where I track "painted" figures and it would be a huge stretch  to claim I painted these.  Both were crisp enough out of the packages that I just re-based them and re-did the eyes.

So that means I have 10 civilians done so far for Pulp City.  In a perfect world I'll get 10 more done next week.


Sunday, 15 January 2017

If not the long arm, then the scatter gun of the law...

As part of my slow build on some dark and gritty for This Is Not A Test I got my first Peace Keeper Officer done.

Officers are the rank and file troopers on the Peace Keeper force list.  There will be a few more coming to the wasteland with a variety of gear but my first officer is wearing body armour and armed with his trusty pump action shotgun.

One of the things I like about the Peace Keeper models is that they do a really good job of blending the look of pre-war clothing (in this case a State Trooper uniform) along with some post-apocalyptic elements that make them feel like they truly are part of the setting they live in.

I'm really stoked about these figures and when Worlds End Publishing releases some more of the Peace Keepers they offered during the Kickstarter I'll be putting another order in.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Gotta get back on that horse...

One of the things I've found about painting miniatures is that as much as I love doing it once I take a break for a few days sometimes those days drag on and I take more of a break than I was planning on.

This week I was travelling for work most of the week so I had 3-4 days I couldn't paint...but then I added on 2 more days that I really just didn't paint.  When this happens sometimes I have to look past what I "want" to do and just pick  something that I can get done so I can get the momentum tolling again.

Quite a while back I asked the question "Do I play this game?" with regards to Infinity.  At this point I'm pretty sure the answer is "no, I do not" but I still buy their figures to use for other games.  Primarily I've had an eye on figures that would make good modern/near-future survivors.  I purchased the figure below around the time The Division came out because I felt he fit the feel of that setting fairly well and could see myself gaming it at some point.   To circle back to where I started about just wanting to get something done he was a fairly good choice because he's well textured but doesn't have a ton of fiddly detail.

I've got everything set I need (I think, better double check) for my Ravenloft game Monday night so assuming I'm right about that I'm going to try to get some Raiders done for  a solo play of This Is Not A Test on Sunday.


Saturday, 7 January 2017

The law is coming to the post apocalypse!

One of the things most miniature gamers experience at some point in their hobby journey is the moment where they want to play a game and when deciding on a force a single model makes the decision for them.  That moment where you find the miniature that on its own makes you want to play the game and collect that particular faction.

I mentioned in my previous post that part of my plan for This Is Not A Test for 2017 for for not every figure I paint to be a funny mutant animal and at some point to be able to field a 'serious' force.  I've really been enjoying the funny/scary animal mutants because as I've referenced time and time again I really enjoy the imagery of Gamma World, but now I want to get into the down and dirty of This Is Not A Test and immerse myself in the game's background rather than shoehorning my tastes into it.
Luckily for me when trying to decide on a faction as I eluded to in my intro there was a single model that made the choice easy for me; the Road Marshal.

How amazing is that miniature?  Look past my mediocre paint job and really look at the sculpt itself.  It's (in my opinion) the perfect symbol for the game it comes from; it has ample detail to excite and draw you in, but isn't so overly busy it gets tied up in style over substance.  From the gas mask, to the chaps, to the spurs this figure has piles of little details to make it feel like a real person without being cartoonishly over adorned with extra pieces.

The funny thing is I've loved this figure since I first saw This Is Not A Test over a year ago but I specifically stayed away from it and the Peacekeepers out of the mistaken impression that I would be playing a lot of games against these exact miniatures.  Its a weird path that leads you back to where you either started or meant to start sometimes.  When I originally back the Kickstarter for This Is Not A Test I did so at the 'rulebook only' level, then as things went on and I immersed myself in the community I simply decided I wanted to increase my pledge to provide more support to the project.  I already had the mutants so my choice was pretty much made for me.

I do have and do plan on painting the rest of the original Peacekeeper models to fill out my collection but I have a few other models from some other ranges I think should blend in as well.

I'm definitely looking forward to bringing the law to those who have it not.


Friday, 6 January 2017

Not all animals I paint for the post-apocalypse are my warband members

I took a break from Ravenloft/Zombicide today to go back to work on some figures for This Is Not A Test.

This year I'm planning on doing 3 separate projects for This Is Not A Test.  I'm going to do a new Gamma Worldish warband of cat-people to scrap with some Alfs at some point this year.  I'm also planning on doing an actual gritty looking 'normal' warband.  And I'd like to get a bunch of the wasteland creatures done for use in scenarios as I go.

I backed the Kickstarter for This Is Not A Test (the first Kickstarter I actually backed!) and as part of their successful funding each contributor above a certain basic level got 3 free giant rats.  I already have quite a lot of giant rats from D&D and some from Malifaux but it was nice to get some that are mutated and fit more with a sci-fi feel.

At this point I don't have any specific plans to use these figures for any games outside of This Is Not A Test but could easily see them on the table for Necromunda or any of the assortment of post-apoc RPGs I keep meaning to get around to.

The goal was to get a fourth figure done today but I came up a bit short.  Hopefully tomorrow my Road Marshal will also make it to the finish line and I'll have the start of my first non-mutant warband done.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Zombicide - Baldric

Baldric is another of the protagonist models for Zombicide Black Plague.  Many of the characters in Black Plague are grounded in historic medieval themes but Baldric is one of the more fantastically themed characters.  I don't recall any of his background text specifically calling him a wizard but that is what he is.

Baldric is an extremely well executed sculpt that feels very Gandalf-inspired.  From his flowing robes and long beard to the inclusion of a large (especially by wizard standards) sword.  The only bit missing to make him another Gandalf would be the pointy hat.

Much like my last post with the necromancer Baldric will be seeing his first action as a Druid in my Ravenloft game.  I also have to say now that I've painted him I'm really happy with how both figures look with brown robes, it's too easy and too much of a default to paint all evil wizards in black robes.  The necromancer is still a little skull and horn heavy to pass as a good wizard but I feel Baldric would work well in both roles.

I'm suddenly starting to feel a lot closer to being able to actually play Black Plague.  I may need to get off my butt and re-base those first zombies I painted last year...



Still painting Zombicide Black Plague but I've gone back to the real reason I bought the game; to use the miniatures for other games.

Black Plague has this really cool Necromancer figure but to be honest as a longtime Warhammer Undead player I have piles of Necromancer miniatures done already.  So instead I'll be using him as one of the three male druid miniatures I need for my next game session running Curse Of Strahd.

I'm actually hoping to get another Druid done tonight so I can work on a few This Is Not A Test figures tomorrow.


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Zombicide - Homer

Another addition to the growing Zombicide Black Plague player pool; Homer!

Homer is another lightly armoured figure, in fact in 30+ years of painting and collecting figures for D&D this might be my first model wearing ringmail.  In Zombicide Homer is another character who's background is not that he is a warrior and he is in fact a simple woodsman.

The truth is Homer is slightly off-plan for me (I don't 'need' him for my current game) but I had him primed and based and I wanted to get something done after work today.

My next 2 fantasy figures (if I stay on plan) need to be an armoured warrior/paladin type and one or more sinister looking druids.


Monday, 2 January 2017

Zombicide - Nelly

Last year I started painting the zombies that came in Zombicide Black Plague with the intention of using them for my other fantasy games.  In the same vein I want to use the player models from the game as well as they  fill a few niches that I don't think are particularly well represented in my current figure collection.

I've been a huge fan of fantasy fiction and fantasy gaming for years but there has traditionally been a fairly significant disconnect in the depiction of characters in books or movie and the depiction of similar characters in miniature form.

For starters although "knights in shinning armour" is certainly an accepted archetype in fantasy fiction when you actually read books or watch TV shows or movies the heroes of these types of stories are rarely the armoured tanks we represent them as in miniature largely for the practical reasons that it would be borderline impossible to function in most situations in full plate armour coupled with the fact that even if the wearer was in peak physical condition they would be fatigued in minutes.  So over the next few weeks I'm going to be adding some more lightly armoured (picture the Starks from Game Of Thrones) fighter types to my collection.

My next (personal) frustration with fantasy figures is the idea that most intellectual characters (wizards, priests, etc) are old.  I covered this subject a year or two ago but my quest for young adult academically inclined miniatures continues.  Thankfully the Frostgrave line of miniatures which includes apprentices with all their wizards seems to be going a long way towards scratching that itch for me.

The final group is probably the most contentious in the hobby gaming community but has been less urgent for me personally (because I usually either paint my own characters, or monsters when I DM) but is one that I need to address; female-non-cheesecake-models.  Its long been an issue that the depiction of female characters in fantasy art and models are ludicrously over-sexualized.  Historically I had never given the subject much thought (sorry, honestly I just hadn't) but when I have female players in my gaming groups or have to get a human female NPC model I feel like the personal challenge I'm facing is whether or not I'm participating in a respectable hobby or just something totally juvenile.  At the end of the day everyone is more than entitled to enjoy their games anyway they choose but for me I think I need to evolve past the chainmail-bikinis and go with depictions I'm more comfortable with.

So, back to Zombicide!  One of the things that really appealed to me about the initial heroes released with Zombicide Black Plague is that for the most part they looked like heroic ideals of fantasy adventurers who none-the-less looked like they could actually move and fight in their gear.  For my current Ravenloft game I need a female figure who is a competent fighter and an active participant in combat but who is not a professional warrior by trade.  Say hello to Nelly.

One of the cool things about Zombicide Black Plague is that it retains some of the original Zombicide survival vibe by not only including full-time professional soldiers and survivalists but also including civilian types who have taken up arms and are the smart and/or tough enough portions of the populace to survive the outbreak.

I'm looking forward to painting more of these characters and hopefully also getting more of the zombies and other critters done to use across multiple game systems.


Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Supreme Alliance grows!

Perhaps my New Year's resolution for 2017 should be to spend 5 minutes reading rules and stat cards before speaking about them.  During my first game of the new/current edition of Pulp City I was quickly reminded that this was not one of those read on the fly games and resolved to actually learn my stat cards before my next game.  Other than not optimising my use of my models' abilities it led to a more superficial even more embarrassing realisation, I've been repeatedly referring to my team by the wrong name.  They're NOT Team Breaker (that was their KS pledge name), they're not The Greatest Generation (which is how I referred to them in Ash's 'Learn To Play' video), their actual team name (as clearly stated on ALL their cards) is Supreme Alliance.

With that awkward confession out of the way please meet the newest member of the Supreme Alliance; Coldfire!

Coldfire adds one of the classic elements of superhero comics that has thus far been absent from the Supreme Alliance, a flyer.  In addition Coldfire works a little differently than my other supremes (that reading is paying off already!) but in a way I'm very familiar with from my Cryx forces for Warmachine, he can create/summon a flame fist which he can then use as an origin point for his abilities.  I'm pretty excited about tying this out as it means in theory he can tag objectives and civilians while still being slightly more flexible in terms of where and how he attacks.  

I've got two more 'core' members of the Supreme Alliance to get done (E.C.T.O. and Aquanaut) and then I'll be caught up on Pulp City......for a  while.