Friday, September 19, 2014

Photography Background

As my "construction" phase of Inq28 figures draws to a close (at least for these first miniatures), and I get closer to painting the blighters, I started to think about how to best present them. In this I do not mean "in a case" or textually, but how to make them appear to be the most suited for their environment through photography.

Presentation is something that first entered my head first I think from JRN, talking about placing a miniature in its environment through building a bit of terrain for photography.  Migsula, and duo of the spiky rat pack similarly have used terrain pieces to "place" a figure in the world, and let you get a better sense and feel for the figure, rather than just using a blue backdrop.

So, with the above filling my head, I have been thinking about making a "stage" or "set" to act as a photography background for the figures as they are completed.  I have been thinking about the specific elements for a few years, but have never gotten much beyond that.  It is also the intent of the project to act as a testbed for various terrain techniques, both to see if I like the results, and as a way to practice what I have been reading about online for the last 18 years, but do not currently have the space to bring to full fruition.

Anyway, enough waffle, here is a picture of my initial sketch in cardboard:

The builders of Fasho IX were somewhat limited in their materials...
There are three buildings shown, plus some extra small items to tie them together. Measurements are fairly close to my original plan, within the limitations of using scissors on cardboard! In this plan, I would end up with brick textures, three types of concrete, asphalt, wood, and a few types of metal.

My wife had some excellent input about this setting and suggested that I make it taller, increase the width of the whole setup, add a wooden texture, and consider a backdrop between the two buildings.  She also thought it would be interesting to make it more modular, but after playing around with some sketches, I discarded the idea as being too complicated for this purpose.

Anyway, there it stands.  Might remain cardboard for a while, or I may have a flurry of productivity, and it will suddenly lurch into completion.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gaunt and Bone

Recently I have finished the first two novels of the Gaunt and Bone Series, by Chris Willrich. In these novels, a thief couple of Imagio Bone and Persimon Gaunt, travel to the far east of their slightly like the Earth to their not-China.  In the first book, the Scroll of Years, they travel to Qiangguo, meet various people there and end up embroiled in both local politics and the affairs of dragons.  In the second book, they travel west on a quest to find the Ironsilk Moths, which has been demanded as a price to get an item they most desire.

The books are pretty good, although a bit rushed as they are harried about the country/world. Bone is a 99 year old master thief, although often out of his element in combat or against wizards.  Gaunt is a poet/bard/thief, and often ends up being the hero, since she is a bit more combat worthy.  Both books are set in the East, and have a heavy "fantasy Asian" theme, which is alternately refreshing and bafflingly new.  Reading the second book, I would have benefited more from a more detailed review of the map, since I apparently got the fantasy world mixed up with the real one, and had a different mental picture of where they were traveling.

The World of Bone and Gaunt
I also liked how there were various fantasy ideas which seem ripe for theft and incorporation into your D&D game.

Ur-Glue - magical ultimate glue that can not be undone, which is used in some pretty amusing ways.
Iron Silk Rope - rope made from silk as strong as iron, and can bear nearly any weight
Flickering Fire-gems - alchemical gems which contain candle fire
Living Calligraphy - calligraphy as spell scrolls, where a traditional saying acts itself out in some way.
Mummified Kraken - an ultimate undead monster.
Kleptomancer - creates nothing new, but steals knowledge from others using magic.
Magically cutting off an ear to be left in another location as a spy or communications method

There are also a couple of great magical libraries and plenty of weird magical creatures.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Workbench Early September

I have had a bit of time to take stock of my Inquisitorial workbench recently, and I have about 18 figures "finished" to the point where they can be primed and painting can start. Another 10 or so are mostly built, in the sense that they can stand on their own base, and if they do not have all their limbs attached, there is a planned set of limbs set aside for them.

If this sounds like a large number of figures for what is nominally a warband skirmish game... well yes it is, but that is what happens when you build six Inquisitorial warbands at once, as well as various NPC and bad guy types.  I fully expect to reach around 50 models just with the stuff I have currently on hand and planned.

This first picture is of a mercenary sort that I built based on the leftover chest bit from a ... that one piece sort of inspired the whole figure, and from there it was just sorting through bits to see what worked.  Since I took this picture I have added a dangling skull on his lower armored plate, and a bit of wiring to his neck, but he is otherwise complete as shown.

The second picture is of a battle priest with a shotgun.

The final picture is surprisingly small given that it used the same camera as the other two... anyway, it shows the state of the workbench, including the baneblade of shame in the back, the various nearly finished Inquisitor figures, a pile of bits, and various other projects in progress, including a Necromunda gang that has been in a partly completed state since 2010...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Space Hulk 2014 Rerelease

So it seems that Games Workshop is rereleasing Space Hulk this weekend. This is the 25th anniversary year, so it sort of makes sense, but it feels like we just did this...  oh wait, that was five years ago.

$125 USD this time
Rumor has it that it is the same as the lauded 2009 edition, with a few additional tiles to represent the boarding torpedos and a few new missions.  Critically, the miniatures are the same.

I would love a copy, but I have plenty of other things to paint, a box of Dreadfleet to get to (and the Battle of Five Armies too), and so this is not going to work for me.  As I said last time... maybe for the 30th edition.

Monday, September 8, 2014

40k Warband Blogs

The more astute among you may have noticed that I added a new page to the blog entitled 40k Warband Blogs.  Like it says on the tin, this is a listing of blogs I have come across that have some or all of their content devoted to 40k Warbands, which is to say Inq28, InquisiMunda, Confrontation, Necromunda, and Rogue Trader, where the player controls 1-20 figures with more detail than in a standard game of 40k.

The blogs I have found run the gamut from people concentrating on "old school" lead figures and very early rules, to people using the most modern Citadel plastic figures in new and unusual ways to create their vision of a grim dark future.

I am certain to have missed some blogs that should be collected, so if you notice any missing (possibly even your blog), please let me know here, and I can get them added some time soon.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Captain Richard "Dick" Winters

My brother-in-law is a huge fan of the Band of Brothers.  He has read the books, watched the show innumerable times, visited Normandy and Belgium a few times (although you might call it more of a pilgrimage)... he is a huge fan.  I had been trying to think of a way to paint up something for him for a while.  Something related to Easy Company, like a squad or something; but no ideas ever seemed quite right.  So when I saw that the Historicon miniature was going to be a Richard "Dick" Winters figure, and further that you could buy it from Warlords without going to the Con... well, I had to act.

$20 later the figure was on its way to me, and I had to figure out what to do to get it painted before my Brother-in-law's birthday.  I had thought that it might be nice to have a larger base surrounding the figure base, and dispatched my wife to look for some sort of display box at a craft store.  She came up trumps with an over sized mirrored baseball display box which was approximately a four inch cube (do cricket balls get collected in the same manner as baseballs?).

I painted the figure and the display over a week, spending around eight hours altogether, which was slightly rushed. Concurrently I was also reading the book (very good!) and reading about Airborne uniforms for painting purposes.

Here then is the result, shot outside on an unusually cloudy summer day, just before being packed up for gifting.