Thursday, January 4, 2018

D&D 5th Edition Starter Set Miniatures

For Christmas this year, I somehow convinced my wife that we should give her cousin and his kids the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition starter set... and further that I should buy and paint up a set of miniatures to use with it.

Now, this new D&D set is a "theater of the mind" sort of thing (also known as cheap), so no fold out maps, no tokens or stands.  It barely has dice. So I really wanted to juice it up for them and make it seem more exciting.  Thus the miniatures, and I also made a whole map pack of the Sword Coast for the cousin, who will be the DM of the group. (and that is why I made the Faerûn travel distances matrix).  I went a bit deep with the maps and such, and got about 20 pages of material, including a DM screen that I found somewhere online when looking for travel distances, and I also bought a set of dice for each of the kids.

Anyway, as the kids range from 3 to 8 years old, I knew that I wanted to use Bones miniatures, and began by reading the pre-generated character sheets, which happily are gender neutral. After a few lunch times worth of trawling through the Reaper online catalog, I ordered some miniatures from a seller on Ebay, and set to work.  I made a few conversions, mostly to remove the more egregiously bendy weapons, but also to shift them more in the direction of the starting equipment.

Here is the starting group.
Two humans, elf, dwarf, and halfling

Converted staff

Converted warhammer

Sculpted on detail removed, painted on heraldry

Replaced sword with great axe, removed dragon head, replaced with sculpted tree stump

No changes! 

Replaced bendy sword with plastic
Now, I figured that my own kids might want to play too, and so they needed their own figures (and character sheets, which I wrote up).  So I added a barbarian and a Gnome fighter to the group.

Thankfully no changes
And I also painted up a henchman/torch bearer and a donkey, because every D&D group needs someone to do the dangerous work for them, and I hope that having miniatures for them will help the group to remember this important fact.

I had a pretty good time painting these, although as always it was a bit of a rush at the end to get them done in time.  The wilderness type bases were a lot of fun to do, and if you look closely, you can see there is quite a bit going on there.

Anyway, so there is most of my hobby work for the month.  What about you, did you make any miniatures to gift?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Just a quick post to prove I made it through another year.

Had a great New years weekend get away at the Wife's cousins' place, and managed to play a couple of games of Settlers: Trails to Rails, although lost badly both times.  The countdown to 2018 was serenaded by my youngest losing her dinner, so good times there.

More substance forthcoming, when I have the chance.

Friday, December 22, 2017

North-West Faerûn Travel Distance Chart

I am currently working on putting together a little bit of extra information for the future DM of a 5th edition starter set (to be gifted after Christmas).  I collected a number of maps of the Sword Coast region of  Faerûn, setting of the Forgotten Realms campaigns. Surprisingly I was not able to find a Sword Coast travel distance chart online anywhere (although I am happy to be pointed to one!)

So I made one, using a version of the 2001 Wizards of the Coast map of Faerûn, which sets it in the 3rd edition version of that world, and apparently also rationalized the map to remove empty space and account for curvature of the earth.

I certainly welcome any corrections or suggestions for this chart if you have any!

As I suspect this will be my last post for 2017, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all of you and yours.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Klingons off the Port Bow

I am still continuing on my Trek binge.

Friday, I got a package in the mail from Shapeways, which contained the frosted ultra detail fruit of my digital labor. (Thanks to the Shapeways Cyber Monday sale)
Axanar D6, two E4s, F5, and F5W
 This first picture shows the Klingons I got in this order, which add an obsolescent cruiser in the form of the D6, and four escorts.  The two E4s are of my own design (based on the Axanar ships), and the F5 and F5W are obviously based on the SFB ships.
E4 and F5
 The detail is pretty extraordinary (albeit hard to see here), as you can easily make out the .4mm phaser turrets and .75mm disruptor cannon.  I expect these to turn out quite nicely when painted.
Closeup of the D6
 This Axanar D6 cruiser is based on a file I found on ThingyVerse, but heavily reworked to make it fit 1/3788 scale, partly by filling in gaps in the mesh, but also by reinforcing and thickening the neck and trimming details away from the disruptor cannon mounts.
D6 size comparison with a MicroMachines D7
Everything seems to have printed perfectly, and I am very pleased at how well these turned out, particularly the little frigate, which is a somewhat novel design.  I have several other 22nd Century ship classes and variations in the works, just need to have some more time to finalize them.  I also want to get these painted and battling some Federation stooges soon.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Long Weekend - Little done

Variety of figures for a number of warbands (and one civilian). 
Here in the US, we had a rather long Thanksgiving weekend, where most get four days off.  One might think that I would get quite a bit of miniature time in, but as it happens I was mostly busy with family and house stuff.  I did get some miniatures ready for priming, as seen above, and did have a bit of time to work on polishing my cruiser designs. 
D6 based on Axanar design, and the D5s on SFB. 
This week I hope to finish painting my Federation ships, and get on with painting some of the figures I primed.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Quick Trek Progress Update

More progress has been made lately on Trek gaming, with some actual painting accomplished.
Base-coated DDKs, CA, and BC
And some TinkerCAD digital modeling.
Handy when they are all not much more than resized versions of the same thing
Not pictured are the CVS, DDL, and HS models I am also painting, and the D6 cruiser I am modeling, so more to come. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Reaper Bones Comparison

Yesterday, in my post about buying some Reaper miniatures, Merijn asked about the quality of the Bones figures, and it got me to thinking about how I happen to have a duplicate figure (as a result of a mispack) 

Here are a couple of quick comparison shots I took this morning.  The pictures are not great, and the metal figure is partly converted, but you can see that the figure is at least in the same range of quality, with some softening around edges, possibly most prominent on the hair.  Some of this is also an artifact of the photography, as white figures just do not photograph well! You can also see the level of flash on the bones figure (look at the right boot), which must be cut away, rather than sanded or scraped. 

Anyway, I like the Reaper Bones figures, particularly for half the cost!  Hope it is helpful to someone. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween Post

I have been a bit off my hobby game lately for a variety of reasons, but I did manage to take advantage of the annual Reaper Halloween offer to get some miniatures that I had my eye on, as shown in the first picture.  Reaper is doing a 25th anniversary miniature for each month, which I got, and the Halloween offer this year was three paints, candy, and a chance for a miniature... or a rock.  Fortunately I got a miniature this year, which appears to be a ghostly figure of some sort. Reaper is a great company, and I got these on Halloween as the kids were suiting up, so it worked out nicely.

I also managed to get some priming done, which will be helpful as the weather inevitably turns to cold and dark and I manage to get some time to paint (hopefully on that second bit!)

Federation fleet additions

Skitarri (and a metal Harlequin Death jester in the back)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Trek-ing Along

Back in July, Captain Arjun of CorBlogMe very generously ran a little giveaway which I was fortunate enough to win.  The prize was three rule books from the Starmada version of SFB, including Klingon Armada, Alien Armada, and Distant Armada. (I believe that this is all of the books published, except for Romulan Armada).

I received a heavy package in early August, and have been consumed by thoughts of Trek more or less constantly since then.

Last night I had some time to myself, and got out all of my various MicroMachine based Trek ships.  As you can see I am pretty well fixed for Feds, but lacking in variety for the Klingon/Romulan forces.

Three DDK, Federation class Dreadnought, CB, two CA, three DDG.
I even got so excited that I sculpted my own take on a Burke class frigate, which, after some more polishing, I am going to cast copies of to further reinforce my Fed fleet (and further tip the balance to the "good" side).

The green lump on the left, size compared to a MicoMachines Constitution class
Then I just need to make some more cargo ships, and some Klingon and Romulans. Oh, and decide on rules and have some games of course.  More to come, so watch this space.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tau Battlesuit

With the use of the Gamer's Grass, I was able to finally finish off my first Tau battlesuit, which was painted a while back, but lacked a finished base.  This is a conversion that I had planned when the Tau were new, but never got around to doing.  OK, so it has been a few years. I used one of the first model suits to build this guy, so it has limited posebility and weak ankles.

I added some rescue markings like on a fighter plane
Elongated head with rear antenna 

Gamer's Grass, sprue brick, and wrecked hardwood floor
You might be able to tell that I have cut off the jetpack and moved it in, as well as added the spinal antenna array. In addition I made a new head from bitz, and made the gun hand held rather than affixed to the forearm.

The original idea was to make over all of my battlesuits to this standard, but that still has not happened... so we will see what happens when I get there. (hopefully before I have owned them for 20 years)