Monday, February 1, 2016

El Eternauta - The Eternaut

This weekend I finished the new English translation of the classic Argentine comic "El Eternauta". Written by Héctor Germán Oesterheld in 1957, this is a classic story of extraterrestrial invasion. This work features lavish art by Francisco Solano Lopez, whose thick black lines and photo realistic drawings of contemporary Buenos Aires really help to lend the correct atmosphere to the story.
Juan Salvo - The Eternaut
 The story opens with the Eternaut, Juan Salvo of Buenos Aires coming upon the author, and after some time relating to him the story of how he and his friends are engaged in a simple late night game of truco, when a light snow begins to fall on Buenos Aires... killing all life it touches. From there things devolve, as Salvo and his friends must deal with the literal and figurative fallout of the snow, and the other alien activity that they encounter. As much of the story takes place while the men are wearing protective suits, the small glimpses of their faces and the body language are pressed into service to show some of the emotion that you might get from full facial expression.
Click to enlarge for a sample of the art and text. 

Military Action
You really should read this book if you enjoy golden age sci-fi.  Honestly it is surprising that it took so long to get an official English translation, but at least it is this lavish one!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Inquisitor d1000 Part 10 - Psyker

Here is a d100 table of Psyker powers as part of the d1000 inquisitor attributes project. Go back and read that post if you want to know what this is about. 

I apparently have not finished off this project, with no posts in the last... year and a half.  hmm. In any case, I am slightly more invigorated for this project, and hope to wrap it up soon(ish). 

These suggestive power names have been drawn from a variety of official and unofficial sources, and have been sorted into categories based on the most likely school of Psyker powers from which the power is drawn.  Players are of course free to rationalize where the power comes from. 

Roll Power School
1 Blood Boil Biomancy
2 Choke Biomancy
3 Endurance Biomancy
4 Enfeeble Biomancy
5 Haemorrhage Biomancy
6 Hammerhand Biomancy
7 Healing hands Biomancy
8 Iron Arm Biomancy
9 Knit flesh Biomancy
10 Life Leech Biomancy
11 Quickening Biomancy
12 Regenerate Biomancy
13 Smite Biomancy
14 Storm of Lightning Biomancy
15 Wall walker Biomancy
16 Warp Strength Biomancy
17 Blank Blank
18 Banishment Daemonology
19 Instability Daemonology
20 Sanctuary Daemonology
21 Summon Void Daemonology
22 Summon Warp Power Daemonology
23 Teleportation Daemonology
24 Vortex of Chaos Daemonology
25 Augury Divination
26 Forewarning Divination
27 Foreboding Divination
28 Logan's Luck Divination
29 Misfortune Divination
30 Perfect Timing Divination
31 Precognition Divination
32 Prescience Divination
33 Scrier's Gaze Divination
34 Veil of Time Divination
35 Null range Null
36 Null Self Null
37 Burning Hand Pyromancy
38 Fiery Form Pyromancy
39 Fire Shield Pyromancy
40 Flame Breath Pyromancy
41 Holocaust Pyromancy
42 Inferno Pyromancy
43 Molten Beam Pyromancy
44 Molten body Pyromancy
45 Spark Pyromancy
46 Spontaneous Combustion Pyromancy
47 Sunburst Pyromancy
48 Wall of flame Pyromancy
49 Assail Telekinesis
50 Blade Storm Telekinesis
51 Catch bullets Telekinesis
52 Crush Telekinesis
53 Gate of Infinity Telekinesis
54 Ground swell Telekinesis
55 Grease Telekinesis
56 Helping Hand Telekinesis
57 Levitate Telekinesis
58 Objuration Mechanicum Telekinesis
59 Shockwave Telekinesis
60 Telekine Dome Telekinesis
61 Tickle Telekinesis
62 Vortex of Doom Telekinesis
63 Alien Minds Telepathy
64 Astral Projection Telepathy
65 Beast control Telepathy
66 Beast Mind Telepathy
67 Bond of Brotherhood Telepathy
68 Detect Lie Telepathy
69 Distracting sound Telepathy
70 Dominate Telepathy
71 Doppelganger Telepathy
72 Empathy Telepathy
73 Glamour Telepathy
74 Hallucination Telepathy
75 Headache Telepathy
76 Invisibility Telepathy
77 Mental Fortitude Telepathy
78 Mind War Telepathy
79 Psychic Shriek Telepathy
80 Puppet Master Telepathy
81 Sleep Telepathy
82 Soul Bound Telepathy
83 Terrify Telepathy
84 Tragic suggestion Telepathy
85 Transfix Telepathy
86 Whisper Telepathy
87 Zone of Shadow Telepathy
88 Banishment Theosophamy
89 Confound Daemon Theosophamy
90 Destroy Daemon Theosophamy
91 Hail Storm Theosophamy
92 machine Curse Theosophamy
93 Null Zone Theosophamy
94 Purgatus Theosophamy
95 Scourging Theosophamy
96 Seal Warp Theosophamy
97 Shrouding Theosophamy
98 Sky Sight Theosophamy
99 Stigmatize Theosophamy
100 Strike Daemon Theosophamy

As always, please let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


I spent some time today going through the 5th edition players guide, translating my Pathfinder character to the current version D&D for a hoped for continuation of our campaign on Roll20.

Lots of fun to figure it all out.  Why did I pick to play a multi classed character again?

GW has a booth at the Nuremberg Toy fair this year, and are pitching build/paint kits to hobby/toy stores.  Could be a good way to get some of these older or press part kits circulating again, and certainly seems like something that someone like my nephew might appreciate.

In other news, I have been a bit under the weather due to the recent removal of a minor organ coupled with a cold, a combination that does not bode well for energy.  I did manage to get some work done on the 62 bases of the Steel Legion, which ultimately does not look like much, because again, there are 62 of them so it is sort of swallowed up.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Banana heads - Eldar Yellow

As readers of this blog will no doubt recall, I have been working on Imperial Guard and Tau for an eventual skirmish game.  Not content to have two unfinished projects, I thought it was time to make steps at starting another.

Eldar are a classic 40k race, and can be made to be infantry heavy, which is desirable for this project. I have often admired the early "banana head" look of Alaitoc eldar (blue suit, yellow head), and desire to replicate that for this project. I will be using some vintage metals, some more recent metals, and plastics, all mixed together in a hopefully harmonious way.

Given the notorious difficulties of painting yellow, I thought it best to test out the base color, so as to avoid headache later. I primed these test heads with white gesso, painted the face plates black, and then painted each one with a different first coat, before overlaying with Vallejo Deep yellow (70.915).  I actually like the look of all of them, which is good, but does not make the choice of undercoat easier.

So dear readers, which do you like better? 1, 2, 3, or 4?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 - more of the same

I suppose there is a sort of tradition in blogging to do a round up of the past year, and give some goals and predictions for the new year.

Yet more Steel Legion in progress
As it happens, in 2016 I expect to carry on with unfinished projects, which is to say all of them, while resisting the urge to start new projects. As always, contact with the enemy (time) will change the plan.  It does, however, augur well for the year that I have already played (and won) a few board games.

What about you?  What does 2016 hold?

Friday, January 1, 2016

A little bit of Theater - Part 5

As you no doubt read in part one, two, three, and four, I ordered the Monarch Theater from Multiverse to build as a gift for my wife.

Now we are coming into the final stretch, the time right before Christmas where I panic and cut down on sleep in order to get this thing finished. With various family commitments and events, I estimate that I have only a few hours of time before Christmas arrives, so this is going to come down to the wire. (as always). As it happens, this year I have a cold, and it will be very hard to squeeze out any more energy, so we will see if I can finish or not.

No painting pictures from this one, but I do have one of the nearly complete theater in its eventual place.
Test placement on the bookshelf
When I was putting it together for this test, I realized that the leading stroke of the "C" was touching the wall in such a way as to prevent the marquee from seating correctly, so I will have to shave that down.  Still to come: weathering for the building, interior work, and the inevitable touch ups.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer: Damocles Gulf Edition

Just a quick one today, but earlier this week I read the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer: Damocles Gulf Edition which is a slim book from Games Workshop published "in universe". It purports to be a guide book given to each recruit in the Imperial Guard, which lists some of the basics for lasgun stripping, aliens (Orks: brittle boned cowards, much less muscular than they appear!) and the like. The book is rather dated now in terms of 40k background, but it was still fun to read, and I appreciated that I was able to get it from my local library, rather than spend the money needed to buy it on Amazon.

This edition of the book adds information about fighting the Tau, which was humorous enough, but it did have a couple of pictures of suitable interest that I copied them here.

The first picture shows the difference between a fine citizen of the Imperium, and a Tau sympathizer.  There are not many pictures of Imperial citizens, so this was interesting.  The second one shows the Tau "blood god" to which captives will be sacrificed.  It occurred to me, that it would indeed be interesting to have Tau cultists, subverting the greater good for their ancient gods, but alas, current 40k has the space commies as being fairly "clean" aside from possible trickery with regard to the various subject/ally races.

Anyway, a fun little book if you can read it for free, but surely not worth $200 to buy it from Amazon.

A little bit of Theater - Part 4

As you no doubt read in part one, two, and three, I ordered the Monarch Theater from Multiverse to build as a gift for my wife.

With the theater built and spray coated, I found myself unable to work on it for a few weeks. As I write this, I am frantically painting this in an effort to get it done by Christmas, and have had several painting sessions with the main body and details to that end.

The picture above is the first painting session, and shows a selection of the craft paints I am using.  I remained surprised at just how much paint the HDF sucked up, as I had to paint some sections two or three times to get an even coat.  On the "stone" work I used this to my advantage, as the mottled look of partly absorbed paint gives a good look I think.

In this picture, I am using tissue paper and black paint to make a tar paper roof.  Common in this area, tar paper (or felt) is rolled out on flat roofs, and sealed with tar on the edges, and sometimes has a gravel overlay.  Given our climate, the blackish paper turns light gray very quickly, and older roofs are nearly white. Anyway, this technique is one I read about in model train forums, and it is both very quick and very cheap.  I can go into more detail if anyone is interested once this is all done.

Here is more work on the tar paper (still needs some weathering), and the finished marquee with a few coats of glow in the dark varnish.  It is pretty old, so I am not sure it will work, but if it does it should be a nice surprise effect behind the black text.

Int he above picture, I have painted the second segment of the building with its first coat. The rear of the building is still separate to allow me to work on the interior. I remain surprised (somehow) at how much paint gets absorbed by the HDF, with many segments taking more than one coat to establish color, even over the spray paint. .

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy

 Over the last few weeks, I have been very slowly working my way through Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, provided as usual by my local library. Originally, I got this book with the intent of showing it to my kids, but it had rather fewer pictures of completed costumes than I expected, and the text was much more interesting, so I ended up reading it.  Far too large for bedtime reading, (being coffee table sized), it took me a while to get through.  The book is lavishly printed on high gloss paper, which makes it hard to photograph, but it has a ton of interesting information (as one might expect) about Star Wars costuming, but also about costume design generally, which I think allows it to carry over into design for Inq28 figures, or role playing games more generally.   Other than reminding one that John Mollo is a genius, and that George Lucas has very specific ideas on how things look, it also really made me think about costume choice and design in a way that I had not before.

Below are a few pictures of things which I thought might be interesting for future reference. The pictures were taken at night with my cellphone, so they are not the best (plus the glossy paper), but I think you get the idea (and can click on them to enlarge in any case).
Different rebel helmets
These are rebel helmets from A New Hope, which show the various variants for different pilots. The two red and white ones I find to be particularly interesting.
This Lando design needs to be made for space roleplay
Lando went through a few designs before they ended up with space pimp, but the picture above seems like he would fit into the 40k universe nicely as some sort of governor or rogue trader.
Pig faced Orcs in SPAAACE
Is that first picture of the Gamorian a pig faced orc or what? Not even a blaster on him.
Rebel Techs
There were several sections about rebel technicians from the Hoth base, and the RotJ scene where Admiral Akbar is addressing the fleet. Unfortunately there are not too many pictures of the concepts from this project, since the discussion is excellent, and regular rebels are fairly underrepresented generally.
Original Akbar design, showing his helmet and a more complicated yoke for his outfit
Another interesting part of the book was discussing the use of military styling vs. civilian styling to emphasize the warlike nature of a character and the end of conflict at the end of RotJ. Specifically cargo pockets were used for "warlike" clothing, and no pockets or smooth flat pockets for "peace" clothing. This made me think about how we adorn Inq28 characters, because most of the bitz we have for figure construction are from soldiers, and they end up making Inquisitors look like they are in the middle of the battle of Verdun, when at least some times, and for some characters, they should look like they are going to court instead.  Something to consider next time you are putting a figure together.

A little bit of Theater - Part 3

As you no doubt read in part one and two, I ordered the Monarch Theater from Multiverse to build as a gift for my wife.

I left the build last at the point of completing major construction, about 3 hours into the project. During my third annual November hobby weekend, I managed to sink a great deal more into the project, totally completing construction, interior work, some detailing, and then spray painted the lot.

I also ran into my first two problems.

First was due to the lack of instructions (at the time of this writing now provided on the Multiverse site)

As you can see here, the sides of the marquee are built of fiber board and fiber card.  However, they do not reach from the top to the bottom of the piece.  Here, the top is just resting on the side pieces.  As it turns out, there are small curved pieces of fiber board that connect the card and board together to complete this section of the building, but I am not sure why they were not simple joins.

The second problem was revealed during the build of the platform and staircase.

It might be a little hard to see here, but the center leg of this railing piece is bent into place because it is about a millimeter off.  I thought laser cutting was supposed to avoid these things?  Anyway, it worked out in the end.

Stylistically, the stairs are not my favorite, as they are a bit steep, and have pretty high railings, as can be seen in the picture below (with the baneblade officer as a handy scale figure)

I spent a ton of time on the interiors of the building, including hinging a couple of the doors.  This reinforced my belief that I am not very good at scratch building, and that "measure twice, cut once" appears to be particularly pertinent when you are fatigue drunk, and really should have stopped cutting new material.  So let us skip over that until I am able to get back in there and clean it up.

I spray painted the exteriors with a cream spray, reasoning that it would make a good background color for an art deco building.  As I had read about online, the MDF seemed to absorb quite a bit of the spray, either that or the cream spray was not very covering. Also seen in the picture is a scratch/junk built air conditioner unit, which seemed necessary to dress up the roof a bit.