Tuesday, May 1, 2018

X-wing Second Edition

I suppose that at nearly six years old, no one should be surprised that FFG is coming out with a second edition of X-wing... and here it is.  Arriving mid-September 2018 is X-Wing Second Edition:

This addition adds force powers to the game, actions that cause stress, energy, an official force builder app, adds a new medium base size, and of course the new game changes card and template formats. Point values will no longer be printed on cards, and will instead reside only in the app, which will also allow for prices of upgrades to vary based on the ship you attach them to.

Fortunately for those of us with existing X-wing collections, FFG is producing conversion kit for each faction ($50). How kind! [and it looks like you would have to buy two conversion kits for the traditional 8 TIE/ln force].  New packaged ships will cost $5 more than previously too, so FFG is being very kind indeed.

Now if only this causes retailers to dump their existing inventories!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Space Façade

So, Shapeways is a service which allows users to upload models, and then get them printed from a variety of materials.  I have used it before, to rather good success.  Shapeways also allows you to create a storefront and SELL your models, where they do all the hard work of printing and shipping, and the storefront owner just rolls around in money... well more realistically, a few models get sold, and the money gets plowed back into buying Shapeways models!

After I had made a few models, I started to think that others might want them as well.  I could go the traditional route of printing the models, and then casting them, but given my previous casting and international shipping experience, that would not work out very well.  So instead, I opened up a store front on Shapeways called Space Façade, because those are the two categories of items I plan to offer.

Right now the shop has a number of Trek style ships that I have made in 1/3788 scale (suitable for use with Micromachines or SFB ships).

Here are some examples:

space facade Dy105
This is a ship that you may recognize, although I call it a DY105, given the slight augmentation to the engines. 

space facade Confederation auxiliaries shuttles
Here we have a sprue of mixed "Confederation" auxiliaries, one each of three types of fighters, a troop transport shuttle, and a general purpose shuttle.  These shuttles are roughly 500% of what they should be in scale, but even so are under a cm square. 

space facade klingon d6 command cruiser
Finally, this is a modification of the 22nd century IKS D6 cruiser.  I have created a command variant by adding a bridge dome, a secondary dome, and some neck reinforcing.

In the future, I plan to offer some 1/61 scale terrain pieces, rather like this one, as well as embellishments suitable for adding to other terrain pieces.

So go take a look, and if you like what you see, buy some. If you do not see something you like, drop me a line, and maybe I can make it for you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Star Wars the Last Jedi

As always, thanks to my local library, I was able to read both the Art of Star Wars the last Jedi, and the Visual Dictionary for the Last Jedi (and the novelization too)

Both of these were in my opinion a bit paltry, without giving full coverage to some of the areas that I would have liked to see more of.  Part of the problem I suppose is that the editors are constrained both by the need to make the book under a certain maximum page count, and also hold back some material for future books... no reason to give away all 100 of a certain space ship design, or all the aliens.  This was further compounded by the "twist" in the Force Awakens that Rey is the force sensitive one, and not Finn.  So all of the art from that section was relegated to this art book, which is more than a bit unfair.

Anyway here are some highlight images from the Visual Dictionary:
Cool Resistance soldier outfit

Layered helmet

"Heavier" version of the standard rebel pilot uniform

Bridge crew you never saw before they were obliterated 

Ships you never saw before they were obliterated

Cool alien

And here are some images from the Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi:
These Resistance soldiers are pretty awesome, particularly the guy in the lower middle.  I could certainly see these influencing some future 15mm scifi soldiers
This version was rejected as being "too heroic", which makes it suitable for use elsewhere! 

Horizontal version of the bomber

Jedi Texts

Higher tech version of the caretakers, would be interesting aliens

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday

Easter seems like an appropriate day for a return, does it not?

You may have noticed that I have been away from this blog for some time... due to a confluence of factors, both motivational and external.

Never fear, I have been trying to keep up with YOUR blogs, and I have been poking away at a few hobby related activities.  I even have some posts halfway written.  So expect some forthcoming posts about being inspired by Death of a Rubricist, TinkerCAD/Shapeways work, stuff I have read, and even (hopefully) a bit of painting.

Happy Easter.

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.