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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Custom Dice

As a last minute Christmas craft gift for some of the people we exchange presents with, my wife came up with the idea of "Foodie Dice", or rather came up with the idea of copying the Foodie Dice.  For those unfamiliar, this is a way to deal with First World excess by reducing the choice of what and how to cook to the roll of dice.  Emergent cooking if you will.

The details of replication were left to me, and I found a set of 1" wooden cubes on amazon, and read a few tutorials about making stickers using our Silhouette Cameo, and away I went.  I produced four sets of six dice, and banged them out rather quickly thanks to using the Cameo's print and cut feature, which allows you to design both the print and cut portions of a project at once. I was able to make 144 identical squares, and as they were on sticker paper, applying them to the cubes was easy.

I think that it would be extremely easy to produce a custom dice this way, and could even use symbols in place of the squares provided they were not too complex in shape.  Think X-wing dice, or weather dice, body locations, and the like.  Unfortunately I was not able to find wooden blanks for other common dice shapes, although I suppose you could use this to place stickers on regular dice.  For actual game use, I suspect that a couple of coats of spray sealer would be useful for longevity, and a stain for the wooden blocks might add some interest as well.

You might also see in the foreground a partial imperial eagle... I was after all sitting there with the design software, and it seemed rude not to produce something for my hobby while I was there... this test did not come out quite right (the blade hung up on cutting the beak of one of the heads, and the stickers were just a bit small to handle without tools), but now it will be a simple matter to make an imperial eagle stencil.

A little bit of Theater - Part 2

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

After a couple of weeks, my wife was out of town for an evening, and the kids were asleep, so I was able to put in some time, and here is where I got:

Decorative pillar with three pieces of MDF, and a card overlay for added detail

Floors coming together

This is going to be a tall building (206mm)
I glued everything with plain old white glue, applied with a toothpick

These windows, while odd in a theater, are nicely made of three layers of MDF and card
I apparently did not take a picture of my stopping point, but I did get all of the decorative pillars attached, and now just need to work on the marque and the rear staircase.

  • There were no instructions with this kit (at the time of writing forthcoming to the website), but I was able to puzzle out where most of the parts went pretty quickly.  Years of model and LEGO building pay off! 
  • The detail was engraved nicely, and I hope it lasts through painting. 
  • All of the cuts were very clean, and some of the pieces more or less came out on their own. 
  • The scale of the building listed on the website is 28-35mm, and it is clear that some aspects of this kit are aimed at the larger side of things. Windows and the ticket sellers booth in particular are clearly aimed at taller models, although the doorways are a bit wide and short for regular 28mm miniatures, and would seem too small for the larger figures. You can see this in the third picture, which has my converted Necromunda Bounty hunter in the shot for scale. Even with a base, the ticket booth is too tall for him, and the doors are a bit short. 
  • I am not a fan of the way the doors are handled (an attached flat bit on the bottom),and plan to replace them with some sort of hinge. I do think that it makes them playable very quickly, which for most people is probably key. 
  • Construction took me about 3 hours to complete the major building and its decorations, which would have been about 2.5 hours if I had instructions, and probably less if I had built a laser cut building before. 
Stay tuned next time for more pictures of this build. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

A little bit of Theater - Part 1

Stock Kit from the Multiverse Website
In September, I saw a notice that Multiverse Gaming Terrain was selling a new Monarch Theater kit, and further, that you could get a custom cut name for it for only 3.95 Euro.  I immediately thought about buying and building it for my wife, which may seem a bit strange.  Let me explain.  My wife is a film major, and loves movies, as well as Art Deco theaters, so that part seems to fit nicely. She also has been dreaming of making her own movie for a long time (just like every film major), and adding a custom marque for the title of her dream movie seemed like a good thing to do.  I decided it would also be good to make use of the custom cut sign and make it look like our local art house theater.

Now, I have never constructed a laser cut building before, and had never ordered from Poland, and was not sure if I could hide such a large kit while I got it painted.  So I stewed on the idea for a while until the kit was actually released, and then decided to do it.  I also went a little bit crazy with some plans to customize and super detail the kit, which I may or may not actually complete... e.g. soldering new scale railing for the staircase.

Once the theater was actually released, I ordered one, and it showed up here on the West Coast just over a week later with my custom cut signs. Multiverse gave me a tracking number, so I was able to watch it travel around Poland and then to the US, which took some of the fear out of overseas ordering.  Everything seemed to be intact, although the envelope was ripped a bit (it might help to have taped the corners). I hurriedly hid it away in my desk before too many questions were asked, and it sat there for an opportunity for construction, which you can read about in part 2.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

pre-Holiday run up

Sorry for the radio silence lately.  I have been busy with the usual pre-holiday madness, which in  this case means out of town family visits (played four games of Catan), and various obligatory events on top of shopping, crafting, and cooking.

Madness or not, it is nice to see my son and god daughter building Lego together
I am also working on a "secret" project for my wife, which has been absorbing hours and hours of time... you will see why when it is done. (seriously the biggest project I have ever done, and with only scant hours until the big day I have been pretty nervous about completing it).

I do have a series of posts scheduled to run after Christmas, and one of my good buddies will be in town from Philadelphia, so hopefully there will be some gaming to report on as well, after which service will return to normal.

Friday, December 11, 2015

12/11/2015 Paint Table

Conversions seen dimly here: Two flamers, bolt pistol arm, grenade throwing arm, guy with LAW on his back
Finished the pre ink/base stage for this next squad, just one more to go, and I will have done all the basic paint work for this platoon. This puts me at one command squad, one heavy bolter squad, three rifle squads, and a stormtrooper squad for ~53 figures painted. I am also starting to work on the company command squad, and you really can not justify having a company command for just one platoon... might need to get a couple more going. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pigma Micron Pens

Big Lee did a small test of a Uni Pin Fine Line Pen, testing to see how waterproof and smear free it was under different conditions. He then used them to draw tiny symbols on some 6mm Carthaginians, with some very nice results.

The pens in question are apparently not sold in the US, and imported are around $4 each (on Amazon anyway), so I thought it might be useful to do a similar test with some pens which ARE available here, the Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, which aside from being cheaper and more readily available, also seem to come in various sizes and colors.

So, following Lee's example, here are the four tests.
1. Gesso base, Black Micron 0.2mm written over brushed on Flat sealer (craft store)
2. Gesso base, Black Micron 0.2mm written over gloss (Future)
3. Gesso base, Black Micron 0.2mm written under brushed on Flat sealer (craft store)
4. Gesso base, Black Micron 0.2mm written under brushed on gloss (Future)

Writing on the bare Gesso was very easy, and there was no smearing or other difficulties. Brushing the flat and the gloss over the top seemed to smear the ink, although I did it right away, so it is possible that letting it sit for 24 hours would reduce this. Interestingly the gloss seems to have pulled up the ink more than smeared it, so you have sort of a shadow effect as if you applied a wash, which is actually what I noticed when I used these pens way back when on some TOS destroyers, although at the time I attributed it to the wash I used. Writing on top of the flat and gloss was harder, and although it is a bit hard to make out due to glare, the writing is a bit more sloppy due to the tip slipping as I was writing.

I think that ideally you would put this on as close to bare paint as you could manage, and then spray a flat sealer over the top.  For some paint jobs this may mean adding more paint after you have "finished" a paint job, but I think it would give the best look.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ferrero Rocher

Yesterday, I discovered that in addition to being a tasty candy, Ferrero Rocher can also be useful for the hobby.

As is common during the festive season, companies begin sending us kickbacks holiday treats.  So nearly daily, various boxes of sweets, or dried fruit etc. show up at various staging places around the office, reminding us of our weakness for sugar and hastening our death.  Yesterday, the first of these showed up in the form of a flat package of Ferrero Rocher. As the tray began to empty, not at all hastened by my own efforts in that regard, the shape of the tray insert started to remind me of miniature bases.  Measuring the bottom of a piece of the candy at 30mm, I decided that it would serve, and when the opportunity presented itself, hid it away in my office.

Here is what it looks like (you can click to see it bigger if you like):

As you can hopefully make out from my picture, the tray is composed of two parts, a clear polystyrene tray, and an insert which provides slightly beveled holes for 48 pieces of the candy.

In this second picture you can see that the nominal 30mm base fits tightly, while the 25mm base is a bit loose. I shook the tray around a bit, and no figures fell over, which is good.  When I was putting all of this away, I tried one of those newfangled lipped 30mm, and it fit perfectly, not loose, nor too tight.

So keep your eyes open this festive season, you never know what you might see.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Picture cribbed from Amazon
Yesterday I finished reading A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R, R. Martin, which is a compilation of three novellas featuring Ser Duncan "Dunk" the hedge knight, and his squire "Egg". Set a few generations before the events of the Song of Ice and Fire stories, you really get a feel for Westeros in a time of relative peace.  The stories are easier to read that the Song of Ice and Fire books, both because they have fewer characters, and because they are, as mentioned above, set in more peaceable times, so the outright horror of the other books is not as present.

Another interesting feature of this book is that it is lavishly illustrated, with over 150 illustrations of various sizes by Gary Gianni. [who apparently illustrated Prince Valiant for a while, which certainly carries over into his illustrations in this book] While the illustrations do not match the text exactly, they are excellent, and the book is probably worth paging through just to look at the pretty pictures... something you do not get to say about fiction books very often.  Amazon has a preview of the book which shows some of the pictures.

I really enjoyed these stories, and look forward to reading the promised 3-9 more when they come out... probably in 15 years at GRR Martin's usual rate.  Tales of knightly daring do, and honorable men in dishonorable company really appeal to me, and I like the setting, as there is even less magic than the War of the Five Kings era, and the military technology is transitioning from mail with plate to full harness.

I have discussed miniatures for Game of Thrones actions before, but while the Perry War of the Roses figures are suited for the War of the Five Kings (and plastic!), the earlier era is best suited by the Agincourt to Orleans line (now with its first plastic set, and forthcoming French set).  This is imperfect at best, since naturally a range aimed at Agincourt is focused on archers and wealthy men-at-arms in full harness, but supplementing with other Perry figures, Claymore Castings figures (particularly the Scots 1388 line), and other lines should do the trick.

Jousting figures heavily in the book, and playing a jousting game with just a few knights always sounds fun.  The 5th edition Bretonnian knights are ideal for this, but as those are more than a decade out of print, the Fireforge Teutonic Knights with some conversion would do nicely as well (particularly with some more "fantasy" heads).

Aside from miniature gaming there is plenty here to inspire for role playing as well, particularly in the middle story, which gets heavily into minor barony politics, and the various dynastic discussions.  A game like Pendragon seems ideal here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History

This morning I finished reading Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History, by John Julius Cooper (Viscount Norwich, thus known as John Julius Norwich).  This book attempts to cover all of Sicily's history from antiquity to modernity, and generally does so. The book really begins in the Greek era, when Sicily was central to the imperial ambitions of Athens, and in common with other the rest of the Greek world, minor city states struggled and battled against one another. In some ways this never changes, as one power after another takes over the island, from Carthage, all the way to Piedmont in the Italian unification.

Norwich clearly knows certain periods of history well, and enjoys discussing them in greater detail than others. As might be deduced from his CV, Normans and the Norman kingdom of Sicily figure heavily, but he also apparently is quite taken with Nelson and the Hamiltons, and spends an inordinate amount of time discussing their various permutations and interactions with the court of Naples.  This section was a hard slog, and it took me several days to get though. In this book at least Norwich is clearly writing a "popular" history, rather than a scholarly one, and opinions, anecdotes and partisanship run throughout. [short, non-comprehensive list of things Norwich does not like: Napoleon, peasants, Spain, Monty, Mussolini]

I will say that I knew very little about Sicily prior to reading this book, and I certainly enjoyed most of it, but the Bourbon period is a hard slog, and the post unification era (150 years) is breezed through in just a few chapters which was very disappointing (the book effectively ends with the occupation of Sicily in 1943 [Operation Husky, which my Grandfather participated in as an ordinance officer]), giving little feel for contemporary people, and no idea what to expect for the future. So, I would recommend the first portion of this book unreservedly, but if you have little interest in court machinations of the Bourbons during the Napoleonic era, you are probably better off skipping that section.

Now as for wargaming, Sicily was a battleground for the Peloponnesian war, Punic wars, and Second World War, so there are plenty of opportunities to have a battle or two set there. Operation Husky in particular seems to be pretty interesting, with its "midwar" setting, and mix of forces present.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Specialist Games Returns?

Apparently the above came from the Facebook page of a shop in Australia, and the major rumor mongers suggest that it is true... and that the Betrayal at Calth boxed set was the first product of this group.  If this pans out, boxed sets of Epic, Necromunda, Manowar, and Battlefleet Gothic will have to make their way into my hobby room.  And dare I say Warhammer Quest?  Oof, that would be a must buy.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hobby Weekend

This weekend past, my wife and kids were out of town, so I had a bit of a hobby weekend (when not working on painting a bathroom, laying brick, or other household chores that seem to accumulate).

Previous years when faced with such weekends, I have built and painted a Tau platoon, and built an IG platoon twice the size of the Tau one (and which consequently I am still laboriously painting).

This year I worked mostly on a project which is still under wraps, and few other odds and ends.  I do not seem to have completed anything, and certainly not all the projects I wished to, so it seems a bit frustrating.

I did get a little bit of work done on an idea which has been percolating around in my brain for a while.

At work, we have a Keurig coffee machine (actually right outside my door) and the pods come in these boxes.
A couple times a week, I see these boxes in the trash, and it got me thinking about reusing them as terrain. As it turns out they are about 4.25 inches wide, and 6 deep, and about 7.75 tall.  To my mind's eye, these started to look like row houses for a futuristic city... however, at 4.25 inches wide, they are too big to fit two houses on the 8" squares I have planned for my city terrain.

Further, the boxes are made from fairly flimsy cardboard, and so not very suitable for a finished building.  I plan to use just the shape of this box, but replace all vertical surfaces with foam-core cut to be slightly narrower than the boxes.  So much for workplace recycling!

I used our Silhouette Cameo, a computer controlled cutter, to make some bitz and templates for the building, which was very interesting, and certainly more exact than anything I could cut with a knife. (as proven earlier that same day when I mangled some foamcore).

The picture above shows a couple of templates I made, window frames for two buildings, and a bunch of vents.  I stacked up the window frames and vents, and with super glue, effectively made them into stiffer hard pieces, suitable for construction.  The hex spray templates are for a set of rooftop solar cells, which I had made out of a magnetic hotel door key and some sort of toy packaging.

Anyway, that is what I did this weekend, what about you?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Horus Heresy II

Not a second Heresy, just a second post about it. Went to the FLGS this afternoon while running errands, and inquired about the Hours Heresy game, Betrayal at Calth. The guy working the counter had no idea what it was... So much for GW's assurances that there would be a demo copy in store... it will probably show up next week.

They did have the White Dwarf though, which was surprising as usual WDs accompanied by free gifts sell out.  Once I pointed it out to the guy at the counter he bought the last one himself.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Horus Heresy - Betrayal at Calth

By now I am sure that those of you who are interested in this sort of thing have heard about it, but in November, Games Workshop is releasing a Horus Heresy boxed game.  The box will have 30 multi part mark IV marines, 5 terminators, 2 heroes, and a Contemptor dreadnought, for $150/£95 (plus some sort of board game that 99% of people will never play).  Previously, you could get all of the above from Forge World in various sets for the princely sum of £300+, so multipart plastic at 1/3 the price is quite nice.

This set almost looks good enough to tempt me into buying it, but I really do not need to start a whole new sub game of 40k, when I do not even play that...  although I do quite like the pre-heresy World Eaters...

Monday, October 26, 2015


A while back, the fine chaps at Canister & Grape had a 7th anniversary contest, and against some sort of cosmic rule, I won a prize.  I was delighted this Friday past to receive the above in the mail.  The picture is a bit hard to make out due to glare, but what you see there is a quartet of press fit Warhammer 40k Orks, and a "Finecast" version of the Ork Warboss Gazghkull.  I have painted a few Orks before, but with these fellows I have enough to make a little skirmish band, and I have never worked with Finecast before, so I am looking forward to investigating that as well.  (the box was so light that it almost seemed to be empty!)  As it happens I also have a spare of Gazghkull's mortal enemy Commissar Yarrick  [not, as it would appear, shoelaces].

Now if someone would like to send me some zombies for Zomtober, a Tank for Tanktober, and a dreadnought for Dreadtober... well, that would be quite alright, but you had better get on it, the month ends soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Basing Basics

Yesterday I was home from work with the kids, due to a change in my wife's work schedule.  While child #2 slept, #1 and I had a quick lesson in basing.  The 20 handgunners acquired in my Ebay score last year were quickly claimed, and I made a couple of conversions to them as requested (added a banner bearer, and mounted one on a horse to be a "leader".

As shown here, figures had diluted glue applied to their base with a brush, and were then dipped in sand. [although I believe technically it is decomposed granite]

As I said, pretty basic! There was some discussion of getting the figures primed in preparation for painting, but we shifted focus to LEGO and that took up the remainder of the "free" time.  At this rate, we will be able to have a game in a few years...

Friday, October 16, 2015

10/16/2015 Paint table

Finished the last little touch ups on these guys, so now they are ready to have their bases finished, get their inks done etc. This puts me at 1 command squad, 2 rifle squads, 1 heavy bolter support squad, 1 stomrtrooper squad painted, and two more rifle squads to go. Unfortunately I keep get getting distracted by new ideas for conversions (e.g. a guy shooting a MANPAD), and by thoughts that I would like to have two platoons instead of just one. [I should of course finish painting the first platoon before worrying about the second!]

In the background is a bounty hunter for Necromunda, which I first started painting about 8 years ago...

I have also put together SGII stats for these guys, and the Tau I painted, so I should be able to put a game together if needed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

North Star 1864 Sample figure

A little over a week ago, I was perusing some pictures of forthcoming Frostgrave figures on the North Star Facebook page.  I noticed that there was a picture of a mid-1800's figure, with text indicating that North Star would mail out a sample figure of this forthcoming range of 1864 Danes if requested.  Like a shot, I put in my request, and on Friday I got the figure.

This is for the North Star 1864 range, which is aimed at the Second Schleswig War, which besides being an interesting war fought between Denmark and Prussia/Austria during a time of political and technological change, is also the subject of a recent TV series.

Map of Denmark and the duchies in question
Below are a series of pictures comparing the figure I revived (one of the pack NSD003 - Danish Infantry at the Ready. 1864) with some of the various figures I had in the lead mountain.

1864 Dane right side

1864 Dane left side

L to R: Forgotten Glorious French Officer, 1864 Dane, Pulp gangster, Copplestone Soviet

L to R: Perry Plastic Dragoon, 1864 Dane, GW Steel Legion, GW Valhallan

A look at the face
As you can see from the above picture, the figure falls nicely into the "28mm" size, although it is a bit smaller than some figures in my collection.  To the eye, I would estimate that this casting is only 27mm, and it is substantially more slender than the GW figures. This may be in part due to this figure being a younger man, as you can tell from the face.  The casting seems to be fairly good over all, with no obvious mold lines, and just a bit of flash and a bit of extra metal on the bayonet which needs to be trimmed away.  Being unfamiliar with the equipment of this army, I can not comment on the uniform or the pack, but it seems to fit with the few pictures I have seen.  All in all, I think this figure would be great en mass, and would probably work out ok for single mounted skirmish type gaming.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Axis of Villains

This weekend past, I was staying at the home of my wife's cousins, and had the opportunity for some board game action.  Aside from the now obligatory 7 Wonders game, we also played a session of Axis of Villains, a game I got for my birthday last year.

Board late in the game
In this game, you play one of four super heroes from the Justice League, defending the Tower of Justice from waves of villains who advance relentlessly to the tower to destroy it. Each player rolls a d8 and a specially marked d6, which moves or adds villains to the board. In our particular game, the Justice League lost, partly though some bad batches of die rolls (I think I added about 10 villains to the board), and partly though not understanding that we should team up against pretty much every villain, regardless of apparent strength. Late in the game, as shown in the picture, we had three villains stacked on one sector and we were unable to defeat them before they reached the tower and destroyed it.  Even though we lost, the game was pretty fun, and its difficulty level was perfect for the late night.

This is one we need to try again some time, and it also has a fair amount of solo play value, as there is no reason that one player could not play the various heroes together, and the villains are already played automatically.  I also need to get three more d8s for next time, as the game only comes with one and it is much more satisfying to roll a whole handful than it is to roll the same die multiple times.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Forthcoming Tau

Rumors of Tau models in the future are apparently correct, as these leaked images show:

New really big guy "KV128 Stormsurge"

New mid sized stealth suit "XV95 Ghostkeel" Seems like rumors of this being a Riptide upgrade spue are incorrect (or there is yet another large kit coming)

New firewarriors

Now you may recall that I have a bunch of Tau, and that I even painted some... so I am of mixed emotions about these new guys.  On the one hand, new kits might be more things I am interested in adding to my army, or at least new bitz, but on the other hand, I am not really keen on these new firewarriors, and large battle suits are pretty pricy. We will see how it goes in a month or so.