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)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gamers Grass

Back in June (!), I got a few sheets of grass from Gamer's Grass, and yesterday I finally got around to using them.

Previously I had used a sheet of Army Painter 6mm Highland Tuft, which I got from Amazon, and was highly crushed when I got it.  I liked the look of it, but it was sort of a pain to cut pieces from, and the price was not great. So when it started to run low, I looked elsewhere.

Size comparison with a Abdul on a 30mm base (and terrible exposure)

Comparison between the Gamers Grass and the Army Painter Grass
Ordering from Gamer's Grass was very easy, and I even saved a few pennies by paying in GBP instead of USD, which was nice. The sheets came packed in a sturdy box, and were not folded or mashed in any way.  The tufts are perhaps a bit more regular than I would like, however, the colors are great, and they are very easy to use.  I certainly see the utility in having a number of colors on hand, and am already considering adding to my stash...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin -Part 11

In our final installment of the Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin, we have Brother Agerholm of the Deathwatch.

Bit of a photo dump for this one, as this figure is harder to photograph, and needed more comparison.

Bother Agerholm of the Deathwatch, seconded (some would say exiled from) the Invaders Space Marine Chapter.  Of late he has been often seen in concert with I.O. Sakhalin, to whom the Deathwatch owes a special allegiance.  In this pic, you will note that he is armed with a powerfist and a flexible magazine bolter. 

Another figure started seven years ago, this guy took a long time to build, and even longer to finish.  As you may be able to make out in the pictures, he is built from a standard space marine body, but I extended and widened the torso, created a new set of power cables, and also lengthened the legs and reposed the feet so that he was standing more upright. The head, bolter and shoulder pad are all from the metal Deathwatch set that came out when the concept of Deathwatch

And anticipating questions regarding size, here are some comparison pictures with I.O. Sakhalin and with the Chaos Space Marine I created a while back.

As you can see, he is a big fellow, but a bit more slender than the Stormcast and terminator based Chaos marine.

I have ideas for a further few deathwatch figures, and with the new Primaris marines, most of the true scale work is already done...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin -Part 10

Part Ten, near to the end of Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin is the Arsonist, Serafima. 

For a man as conservative as I.O. Sakhalin, his long association with Pani Serafima is more than surprising, as her record of contempt for superiors and delight in immolation of evidence is well known.  Note also that she here seen holding a knife seemingly made of wraithbone, a most curious weapon indeed for someone working with an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos...

Rather obviously comprised of a Copplestone back of beyond figure and some tacked on bitz, this was a figure that was kicking around my spares box for a while, and then was added at the last minute to this group.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin -Part 9

Part 9 of Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin is Pilot Yuri. 

Pilot-Officer Yuri had a rather unfortunate encounter with a lupine life form after an unfortunate mid-air collision with the cargo scull belonging to a xeno-trader outside of a backwater trading post.  As this collision also caused said trader to be captured by I.O. Sakhalin, Pilot-Officer Yuri was offered the opportunity to join his retinue, which given that the alternative was to bleed out on the forest floor, he accepted.  

Another figure which languished for some time, as I was unsure what to do with the robotic arm.  In the end I left it as a servo cable jutting from his torso, which I imagine makes it somewhat useful for interfacing with imperial machinery, and rather less so for reloading his bolt pistol.

Hazard striping is certainly not my best work here, and I may go back and retouch it.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September White Dwarf

This Saturday I managed to make it to the FLGS to pick up the September issue of White Dwarf.  This issue is centered on the 30th Anniversary of Warhammer 40k, and rather unusually came in an over-sized card envelope. This allowed for two posters to be included, one of which is the cover art, and the other an advertisement for Total War: Warhammer II, and also allowed for the actual magazine cover to be fairly spare, with just the White Dwarf and Warhammer 40k/30 logos.


Magazine and contents

Quite large poster of the cover image
You may also notice that I bought a Bones figure.  With the Reaper Bones IV kickstarter closing on Saturday, I was in a Bones sort of mood, and picked this guy up to add to my stockpile... not exactly sensible, but he should turn out nicely.  As for the kickstarter, it ended up breaking $3 million.  I have only put in $1 so far, but expect to add quite a bit before the pledge manager closes (in July!).

Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin -Part 8

Part 8 of the exquisitely drawn out Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin is Trooper Okhlopkov.

One who watches over the others of a battle team can be called 'the Angel' of the group, although if that is true, then Trooper Okhlopkov is a murderous reaper of an angel, bringing to many a terminal flash of the Emperor's light.  Of note here is his custom long-las, which has been carefully treated to remove all of its original celebratory enamel, and refinished in the matte black seen in this pict. 

This figure actually is around eight years old, as I built it in my original flurry of INQ28 mania.  It was, as one might expect, unpainted until needed for a game.  I love the face of this figure, another stellar one from the Perry sculpted Huntsmen box, which as you will have noted formed the bulk of the heads used in this group. (the bodies were long ago allocated to a Necromunda gang, sadly unfinished)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin -Part 7

Part 7 of our Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin is Trooper Sova.

It is said by no less an authority than St. Chrisber, that every team put together for the purposes of combat will need a scout, someone or something that proceeds the main force and draws fire, while noting the positions of the enemy.  Trooper Sova fills the position for I.O. Sakhalin, as did his forebears before him.  While there are rumors that he is a psyker, and is thus linked to his owl, I.O. Sakhalin is far too orthodox to employ an unsanctioned psyker. - Marginalia from the Conclave notes of Lord Inquisitor Botteith, lost mysteriously on mission.

Another figure I had planned for a long time, and then put together in a rush of bitz building.  The "bird" aspect of this figure varied for a long time between a Bretonnian falcon and something more exotic, before I settled on this owl. (it was $1 cheaper)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Inquisitorial Kill Team Sakhalin -Part 6

Part 6 of our review of the Inquisitional kill team of I.O. Sakhalin is the enigmatic death cultist Smert-5.

Smert-5 is a member of the blood cult, whose low Gothic name translates to something close to the "Emperor's pointy knives".  Founded by an ex-imperial guard sergeant, the cult has a high emphasis on obeying superiors, and consequently cult members are in high demand as body guards for Inquisitors, Rogue Traders, and others that recruit retinue members.  The cult is aware of this, and uses its popularity as a producer of guards for the galacticaly important to remain in favor with the local authorities. 

This conversion is one that I have thought about the longest, but conversely the one I find most disappointing in actuality. The body is obviously from a vindicare assassin, and the left arm is from the old metal dire avenger upgrade arms. The mask is sculpted, but unfortunately the mask is just not very good, and the crude kabuki paint did not help any. I may go back and paint a layer of gloss over the mask, but I probably will not bother.  (if you view the pictures on "small" they do look significantly better, although that is true of most of my work!)

On the plus side, I did get to test a technique mentioned to me by Tears of Envy, whereby you pre-highlight the figure grey and then paint with a heavy layer of black paint/ink mix and it takes virtually no time at all. I think the body suit came out quite well, considering that again, it took about two minutes to highlight and then ink. (naturally her results are much better!)