Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quick Update

Yes, I am still alive.  With the Thanksgiving Holiday last week, and a bout of sickness at our house, I have not been online much.  While I did not get as much done hobbywise this weekend as I planned, I did manage to prime all of the D&D figures (with the help of my wife), and started to paint some yesterday.

Now I just need to paint three figures a day for the next month... so we will see how that goes.

As you are probably aware, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, we enter into the Holiday Sales season, which would be more tempting if I had not just spend so much on figures.  Nothing that should prevent YOU from buying more figures or rules though Dear Reader, so get to it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Today in my Internet wanderings, I came across this lovely method from the Lazy Forger for making streets and sidewalks, using MDF.

Here are the relevant three parts:
1. Carving the cast lines and cracks
2. Sponge Painting
3. Sidewalks and detailing

I think that this technique could be combined with my eventual plan to make a 6 foot square 28mm City fight board, by having an MDF layer to represent roadways, and indeed it may be adaptable to blue foam as well. Since I own a table saw, making the relevant cuts should be simple.

Something to think about in the future.

Also, a warm welcome to Sean Robson, who like many excellent folks, is a paleontologist.  He also has a great blog mostly aimed at D&D, and has come up with a very handy format to present adventures, which I hope to utilize when I get around to finalizing the one I am working on for New Years.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Words of Wisdom from the Family

My wife is a pretty smart person, as well as being generally tolerant and understanding about the hobby.  This weekend we finished going through the Wargames Illustrated that I got last weekend, and she said "did I remind you to renew your White Dwarf yet?"... not a vote of confidence in WI.  She finds the concept of historical gaming to be a bit more boring in general, and was not impressed with most of the photography in the magazine either. I liked it myself, but it does not seem to scratch the same itch that White Dwarf does.

She also reviewed with dismay the array of figures I got for the D&D game, and said "Isn't one of the nice things about D&D that you don't NEED figures for it?".  She is completely correct of course, and at this point it is obvious that I got a bit carried away, and have bitten off more than I can chew... not enough time to paint what I have in time for the game etc. At this point I think I am going to essentially pre-generate most of the encounters that they may have, and paint to that, rather than painting to the possibility of what could be encountered.  I have based and prepared most of the miniatures, and will prime them sometime this week... then the real adventure begins.

Also, my son, who is now 1.5 years old saw some miniatures out on the table (NPCs for the D&D game), and kept point at them and saying "man!".  He was pretty excited by them, and wanted to play with them... too early to get him a set of green army men or 1/72 figures? I am guessing yes. Maybe next year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Players guide v0.2

An update to my Deepest Sea Players Guide.  This version has prestige classes, a threat ranking, and some better explanation of how to create a character, amongst other things. The file is located here.

The threat ranking is based on the concept created by Roger here, and is located on page 29.  As always, the various silhouettes are from Telecanter, and they are highly useful.

Please let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reaper Miniatures

This weekend I got my Reaper Miniatures order in the mail.  I ordered the PC figures and a few monster/NPC types from Reaper, and was able to take advantage of both their free shipping, and their special October "Trick-Or-Treat" offer.  Here is what I got in my Trick-or-Treat bag:

We have a bag of candy, the Pink color paint for Breast Cancer awareness, four bottles of paint as samples, a pack of CAV branded playing cards, and my Trick-or-Treat figure.

The real Trick vs. Treat aspect of the bag was the chance to get a "treat", a figure, or a "trick".  I got the trick, which was a packaged rock.  Maybe it will be a future collectible? It is after all a one of a kind figure...

As I have mentioned before I really like Reaper figures, and I like how useful their website's figure finder feature is. (although it would be nice if there were more keywords for each figure). Unfortunately, at least in terms of this project, most Reaper figures are more in the 32mm range than in a 28mm range. Some are even pushing that, since the Dark Heaven range is fairly free form, and different sculptors have different ideas of how large a figure ought to be.

Pictured between "Franz" and "Jean" our comparison figures, we have Red Box Games, Perry Miniatures, Ebob, Reaper elf, and Reaper Gnome.  Sort of a motley crew, but I think basing and paint will draw them together a bit more.

Why only one player wants to be a male character I do not know, but it sure made figure finding more difficult.  More on that later, when I introduce the PC figures.

Now I am just waiting for bases from EM4, and we can start seeing some real progress here, and not just shots of bare metal.

Also, a warm welcome to new follower Bogus Gasman, who has a D&D blog titled "My pants are Haunted".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Perry Miniatures Review

This weekend I got my first order from Perry Miniatures.  While I certainly have more than a few figures sculpted by the Perry Brothers (more like 100s), I had never previously ordered from their own figure company.

I ordered a few figures to use as NPCs in the D&D game that I am running in January, drawing from their First Crusade line. Indeed these are figures that I am using as the benchmark for the project, because they fit the look I want so closely. In this case the figures are sculpted by Michael Perry, although most people would be hard pressed to identify between the work of one or the other of the brothers.

This first picture is our lovely comparison models "Franz" and "Jean", which you may recall are 6th and 5th edition GW figures.  As it happens they were also sculpted by the Perry Brothers (I may have missed a zero on my previous estimate of the number of figures I own that they have sculped.)  As you can see, the figure matches most closely with the 5th edition metal Bretonnian figure, which is to my mind, excellent.
One of the things you read about online occasionally, is that Perry figures are "terrible" in terms of flash and other clean up work.  As you can see from the figure below, there is some extraneous metal that needed to be cleaned up, but I think it was nothing out of the ordinary, and it only took a few minutes to work through the set that I got.

This last picture is of CU25, one of the only packs that does not have a picture on their site.  As you can see they are quite dynamic figures, and should look quite nice slaying orcs down in the dungeons.

Perry Miniatures CU25 Mailed Sword and Axemen, advancing/attacking

The figures are packed in little black boxes for each code, and this seems to be good enough for overseas shipment.  Shipping times were perfectly adequate, and the VAT rebate offset the price of postage. In conclusion, these are lovely figures that I am already planning on supplementing sometime in the future.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Red Box Games

This past week I got an order of miniatures from Red Box Games (RBG).  Sculpted by TrĂ© Manor, the Red Box Games figures are much closer to "true" proportionality, which can mean that they look small compared to other figures, and in particular have small heads (or normal sized depending on your POV).  Personally, I find the figures to be lovely, but I can see why some people would say that they do not mix with other figure lines.

In my order was the figure "Nannulf of Arnholt's Hill", a barbarian type with three different arm combination options.  He can have a sword and shield, two handed axe, or javelins and a buckler. The finish of the figure was excellent, with essentially no flash or mold lines. The thinner metal of the sword and javelins was bent, but easily corrected with a bit of gentle pressure.

Here he is shown with my tester figures for this set of reviews "Franz" and "Jean", which are an Empire handgunner from the 6th Edition boxed set, and a 5th Edition Bretonnian Man-At-Arms with Spear Champion, both from Games Workshop.

The other figures that I got were equally well cast, and I would certainly buy from  RBG again.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hobby Weekend

This weekend was great for hobby activities.

First, I got my Red box, Reaper, and Perry Miniature orders, which gave me plenty of figures to play around with.  I will be using these for my NPCs, PCs, and Monsters in the Deepest Sea D&D game I am running in January.  I have a order coming in from EM4, which has my bases, and then we are off to the races. Reviews of the figures I got are coming up this week.

Second, we went to the new Hobby Lobby store in our area.  This was the first time I had ever been, and now I understand why the folks on TMP are always talking about it. It is possibly the largest "hobby" store I have ever been to, with everything from knitting to stain glass, beads to fabric.  It has a much larger modeling section than other craft stores (including military models and Tamiya), and also has doll house, terrain, and rocket items. Since they have a weekly 40% coupon, it could be a great place to pick up tools, paint  and the occasional kit.  Unfortunately the store is a bit far from my house, so I will not be going there frequently, but it is good to know that there are options. (and they are going to open more stores in the area)

Third, I got a call from my FLGS, Great Escape Games, and they let me know that my Wargames Illustrated is in.  I had to order a copy since they did not have any in stock when I was there last weekend, but this way I can read it and decide if I want to replace my White Dwarf subscription with something a bit more historic.  I did not pick it up yet, but something to look forward to.

I am also looking forward to the long Veteran's day weekend, when aside from digging a drainage trench and putting in a french drain, I hope to get a ton of hobby work done.