Sunday, December 28, 2014

Project Overload and 2015 New Year Resolutions

I have a serious ADD issue when it comes to gaming projects.  Too many plans, too little focus, resulting in too many unfinished projects.

Now, having so many options can be a good thing in . . . there are so many aspects of miniature gaming in which one can engage depending on one's mood.  When I'm bored of painting, I glue together some plastic models.  When I get bored of building models, I can make terrain, or read a new rule book, or read a Horus Heresy novel, or check out eBay, or read blogs about all the foregoing.  Once in a while, I can even get in a game.

But, when I survey the detritus of my basement workshop, I see that the cornucopia of gaming options has led me down too many dark, one way alleys.  It is time to regroup, and refocus.

My resolution for 2015 is to complete each and every one of the following projects, which are currently stalled out.  Here we go, from the least-to-most work remaining:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Eclectic Game Time! Panzerblitz! 40k! The Allowance Game!

With a four-day Thanksgiving holiday, I got to spend some time gaming with my three kids.  Here's our highlight reel:

We started off with a few rounds of the old Citadel Combat Cards - Space Marine edition.  Basically, it's Top Trumps but with some sweet old school miniatures as pictures.  Nice way to kill some time with all the kids without using much brain power.  I may pick up some other variants off eBay, the pictures alone are worth it.
Next up, Panzerblitz!  This was my first wargame back in the early '80s.  And, like all first loves, it remains the measuring stick for everything that came after.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Oldest Lead (and, more observations about pants)

I have two older minis sitting around gathering dust, so I figured I'd waste my (and your) time by throwing them into the ad hoc photo studio for historic archival preservation.  And to record them for insurance purposes as well, as I'm sure their value is in the low to mid one figures.  Each.

First up, a funky little Ral Partha from 1979:
This mini is really quite small, but has a decent amount of detail for the time.  He came into my possession in 1988, when he was only nine years old - but even then, he seemed ancient.  Perhaps if I gave him an article of clothing, I'd set him free.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Apocalypse (more or less) Battle Report

Over the last week, my 12 year old and I played out an Ultramarines vs. Grey Knights battle, featuring fortress walls and a half-completed scratch-built Warhound Titan, using the 6th edition 40 ruleset.  Here's the comic-style battle report, followed by some additional notes about the game.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Making a Space Marine Halloween Costume

So, yesterday was Halloween.  My understanding from non-Americans is that Halloween as not as big a deal overseas as it is here in the states.  Here - it's a big deal, and not only for kids.  So, when my oldest son said he wanted to be a space marine, I knew I needed to step up and make his dream come true.  Urh, with a limited budget . . . and little time . . . and no talent.  

I looked all over the inter webs, and found lots of templates and examples of prop-shop lackies who spent thousands on building fiberglass helmets and vacu-formed armour.  I found nothing that would help me throw something together in a few days with the materials at hand.  So, I basically went cheap, quick and easy.  If I can you do it, so can you!
Nerf gun generously sprayed with flat black primer and trimmed with silver craft paint.  Counts-as Bolt Gun.  Or, something approximating a Bolt Gun.  This actually didn't make it far on Halloween, as apparently it interfered with collecting candy.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I had too much time on my hands this week, until my oldest decided he wanted to be an Ultramarine for Halloween.  Several days later, and about $20 in materials, here's the finished product!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Last Push

Got a few more minis finished tonight.  What a delight it was to paint all the old-school faces, especially the guy on the far right.  And the very rounded beakie helmet allowed a lot of space for blending.

Some Clean Up Work

I spent a few hours basing, working on blood effects, fixing a tattoo and generally tidying up this undead crew.  Done.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Easy Oldhammer Banner

While I was putting together my new Chaos Warband for an awesome, star-studded, outdoor photo shoot, I suddenly realized my beastman bannerman was bannerless.  With the day getting late, I was about to lose the Magic Hour.  What to do?  Google time.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chaos Warband: Mission Accomplished!

Months ago I was inspired by the news of Oldhammer in the USA weekend, and by the Oldhammer in the New World blog, to start my own Chaos Warband.

Now, months later, with the deadline approaching, I have finally finished my warband!  I've been working like a dog on the minis the last few weeks, and took a vacation day today to push through to the end.

After the jump is a (very) picture heavy showcase.  My apologies if I'm coming across as an overly excited new Dad!  I'll soon post some information on how I put together the banner, in case anyone's interested, and I'll also be posting up some background fluff on these guys.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

IKEAhammer (tm)

You may not be aware, but the world's largest Scandinavian purveyor of put-it-together-yourself-furniture is also one of the world's largest miniature wargaming supply stores.  And the best part is, you don't have to sneak away from the spouse to get to the FLGS, you can wrap your "personal" shopping between a stop at Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond ("Don't know if we'll have time.")!

Here's a quick rundown of my favorite IKEAhammer(tm) items. As an added bonus, I've included, at no additional cost to you, an excuse to use while throwing it into your cart, so your better-half doesn't suspect the real reason you're buying it.

Test Run of Halftone 2 App

For the princely sum of $2, I downloaded the Halftone 2 app for my iPad.  I've played around with Comic Life and this is pretty much the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

It's a tad awkward to use some of the features without a mouse, but well worth the price.  I was surprised at how customized you can make the quotes, text boxes and the like.

I'm hoping to use it for adding some panache to my future battle reports.  In the meantime, here's a trial run.  Please forgive the lack of humor and general artistic merit!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nurgle Chaos Champion - Completed (thanks to the help of Matte Medium)

Prostrate thyself and behold - Frankenberry, Chaos Champion: Harbinger of Doom and Tooth Decay.
My prior post highlighted a first attempt at free-handing an old school shield design.   I was so geeked out over the shield that I rushed to post the pictures, but I wasn't really happy with the rest of the mini.  For years, I've been using a magic wash (distilled water, future floor polish and usually a payne's grey artist's acrylic) for finishing my models.  However, I wanted to experiment a bit with matte medium for and glazes and ink washes.  My chalky, over-highlited Chaos Nurgle Champion was just the justification I needed to use the ubiquitous 30% off coupon at Michael's . . .

Here's Frankenberry, standing in front of a foam core building I made a few years ago.  You'd think the Ultramarines would be able to come up with a better construction material than foam.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oldhammer Shield Design - First Attempt

Ever since I read one of the short "Painting Citadel Miniatures" pamphlets from years back (cover price was one GBP, but I'm pretty sure the game store was giving them away), I've wanted to try my hand at painting one of the old scary face shield designs that were a hallmark of Warhammer in the 80's.

In fact, I think I originally stumbled on Orlygg's seminal blog a few years back looking for shield designs and his recent post (putting the faces on armour - GENIUS!) inspired me to finally have a go at it.

So, here's my very first Oldhammer shield design:
Anyone hungry for Frankenberry cereal?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Building a (Tiny) Mordheim Board - Part Two

Here's a quick update on the small Mordheim board on which I've been working, as discussed in a previous post.  Sorry for the subpar photos - while my "lightbox" for minis has been improved, the lighting in the rest of my workshop leaves something to be desired. 

Before gluing down the foam, I first cut out the three stairs sections, carved out each of the steps . . . 
. . . then fit the stairs back in.  Each step is about 1"x1", which will allow the minis to stand on the steps.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Saving Your Oldhammer Rulebooks From Certain Ruin - Part Two

My last post discussed restoring an Oldhammer rulebook with a few loose pages and a split binding.  In this post, I'll show my restoration process for a rulebook with an entire section having fallen out.

This book is in great shape, but for . . . .

a section of about 12 pages having fallen out.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saving Your Oldhammer Rulebooks From Certain Ruin - Part One

My Oldhammer rulebook collection is growing.  However, like many of you, I have a problem with pages falling out.  The binding method that Games Workshop used in the late 80's seems to have cut a few corners.

Say want you want about the soulless corporate rulebooks of today, at least they're build for the long haul.  The 80's rulebooks certainly were not.  Of course, you can still find WFFB3rd or Rouge Trader rulebooks on eBay for less than the $50 going rate of a modern codex.  So, they're quite a bargain actually.  However, some restoration seems to be in order.

My Rogue Trader rulebook only had two loose pages.  My WHFB3rd had about a dozen loose pages.  Below is a photographic journey throughout the magical restoration process for Rogue Trader.  I will show the WHFB3rd process in a following post.  
Required Materials:  Rulebook.  White Glue.  Plastic Wrap (or wax paper).  Beer (preferably Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA).  Also, a paintbrush will be helpful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Dreaded Sunny Day, So Let's Go . . .

prime some minis.
Leader of the Beastmen.  "Right, where's Ned Stark then?"
I've been priming both metal and plastic minis in flat black Krylon automotive primer the last few years, unless I'm using the Army Painter color primers (Dragon Red for Blood Angels and Platemail for Grey Knights - the stuff works great . . . a quick spray, then a quick wash, then you're ready for the fun detail work in no time).  A black base coat works really well for me - when I miss a spot, I can just call it a "shadow."  And some of my mini's have enough shadows to look like dames from a 1950's film noir.

But, back in the 80's, we primed with grey.  I don't recall if it was an artistic choice, or if grey primer is all that was available back then, but that's what I was taught to use.  Maybe we just didn't know any better.  I certainly didn't.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Going Rogue (Trader): A study in pants

Over the last few years, I built up five different Warhammer 40,000 (WH40k) armies, with about 2,000 points for each army (in order of acquisition): Orks, Ultramarines, Grey Knights, Blood Angels  and Chaos Daemons.  Yeah, a bit heavy on the power armor, I know.  As I started the Chaos Daemons (are there any other kind?  Lawful-good daemons?) army, I wound up buying a few Reaper minis, and realized that - while they're not particularly detailed - they are still just as fun to play as highly detailed, resin-cast minis that cost four times as much.  And, I didn't mind painting them quickly to get them to the table for some dice rolling.

Then, just as I was getting my head around the changes from 5th edition to 6th edition - 7th edition came down like a ton of bricks.

Since the advent of 7th edition, I've been more interested in looking back instead of keeping up.  So, I've gone rogue.

I already had a few random WH40k minis in my old collection and recently acquired a few more.  There's lots of painting to be done, but here's a work-in-progress overview of how my forces are shaping up:

Spahze Mahrines:

First up is my oldest space marine.  I believe he's from Bob Naismith's 1988 sculpts:
This is from when Space Marines wore bloomers.  How do you go into battle without pants?  Maybe you make up for it by attaching a huge machete to your laspistol.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chaos Warband - Part Four: Warband Assembled

After the great scouring of eBay, soaking metal dudes in Simple Green, scrubbing with a toothbrush, more simple green and/or acetone baths, and lengthy negotiations with the Beastmen's union boss, my Chaos Warband is assembled.

As a recap, the warband consists of:

A quick overview, before the lot of them heads off to the spray booth (i.e., a cardboard box and a can of Krylon in my backyard):
The fearless leader, telling his troops they're heading the wrong way.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Night Goblins into Hobgoblins (Part Two) . . . or Hobgoblins in Pantaloons

An attempt at adding a chaos symbol to a hat.  No worries, I'll just fix it in post production (i.e. paint over it).
Following a night of putting some goblin mini's on the rack, I arose in gleeful anticipation of finishing the job.  Unfortunately, it turns out greenstuff doesn't stick to plastic as easily as I'd hoped.  So, everything kind of fell apart.  Mostly, I was able to crazy glue the bits back together, but it was all a bit messier than I had hoped.

And, I also learned why people use metal wire framework for building up greenstuff.  Getting the legs together was so difficult, I wound up with giant greenstuff legs.  I just went with it, deciding they sort of looked like baggy pants.  

So, here we go:

Night Goblins into Hobgoblins (Part One) . . . or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Greenstuff

I needed three hobgoblin minis for my Chaos warband.  However, these old minis seem to be particularly hard to find at a reasonable price.  At the same time, I did randomly happen to have a box of the newer Night Goblins minis, as well as as an itch to try to do some simple greenstuff sculpting.  So . . . 

Friday, August 15, 2014

New Logo

I've spent the last three nights working on a new logo for TBW.

From pencil, to pen and ink, to photo, to GIMP, I've learned a lot in putting the logo together.  It's as busy-as-busy-gets, but I hope it captures the Oldhammer aesthetic whilst paying homage to the games I love.

At some point, I will likely refine the logo, but for now, I just need some sleep.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Building a (Tiny) Mordheim Board

Right, then.  We need someplace to put on a Puppet Show.
Seeing as I don't have enough projects to keep me busy, I (and my untreated ADHD) decided to start a small, 24"x24" Mordheim board this summer evening.  

Mordheim intrigues me, as it allows for small sets of minis to spar over a smaller board.  Fewer minis, smaller board, sounds like more gaming to be had!  As if I have time for that . . .

Mini-wise, I have acquired a small selection of Witch Hunters (half painted) and an unopened box set of the Possessed warband: 
And I've got a few Skaven and Sisters of Sigmar to start some additional small warbands.  Plus, I'm working on a Chaos Warband for WHFB3rd that can join in the fun.  These hardworking guys deserve some sweet terrain to fight over.  Nice terrain will inspire me to paint my minis, which will inspire me to buy more minis, and then build more terrain.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chaos Warband - Part Three: Assembling the Troops

On the Chaos Warband front, I have three potential leaders for the warband.  First up, a pointy, dress wearing dark elf.  I will use him to display the glorious impact of a fine, Minwax finish on a mediocrely painted mini (which I didn't paint).  Don't listen to the guys at Home Depot, this stuff was made for dipping minis (that's why it's called Minwax!).
They went that way.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The First Games Workshop Space Marine?

Is this Games Workshop's first use of the term Space Marine?
Whilst playing the Doctor Who board game the other day, I came across something very surprising - at least to me.  In addition to the well known companions which a Doctor may acquire during the game, such as K-9 or Sarah Jane, a character named a "Space Marine" is available.

Second billing to Lyla.  Not too shabby, Mr. Space Marine!
I loved Doctor Who as a young lad, but I'm not so well versed in its cannon as to recognize that any Space Marines had been involved with the Doctor at all, let alone enough to qualify selection as a companion to the Doctor.  Other than "Army Unit" - which I assume refers to the United Nations Intelligence Team - the "Space Marine" is the only generic, unnamed companion.

Doctor Who Board Game - Games Workshop 1980

I can hear the title song now . . . Whoo eeee oooo, Ooo wee oooo.  But where is Mr. Baker's unforgettable smile?
My game collection, spotty as it is, includes a copy of Game Workshop's 1980 board game "Doctor Who - The Game of Time and Space."  Whilst it was largely acquired for nostalgic reasons, this morning I played a round of the game with a young companion (at his incessant urging).  I thought I'd share some pics and my thoughts for anyone who's ever seen the game but not had a chance to have a peek beneath the bonnet.

Back of the tin.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Randomly (re)starting a Chaos Warband - and the hazards of rolling dice

Now that I've actually read more about starting a WHFB 3rd Chaos Warband, I've decided to follow the lead of Orlygg, by way of Oldhammer in the New World, and place my fate in the hands of the Chaos gods.  Khorne, to be precise.
All old school - except the iPad.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Puppet Show (and ninjas)

Another set of old minis I found in the bottom of a box from some 25 odd-years ago - thereby igniting a new passion for minis and wargames.    Now, ninjas are awesome and all, but these could certainly use a freshening up with highlights and new bases that don't make it look like they're standing in a Welsh coal hopper.  Though, that would be the perfect place for a ninja attack - completely unexpected.

All that said, I think the best part about these models is the little dudes' puppet feet.  

Skeleton from the Closet

Here's a quick set of pics of another moldy-oldie.  I used him to practice an aged brass technique, so it's pretty overdone.   This is an amazing mini - it would look great with a right-proper paint-up.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This is what the 80's looked like.

Due to my packrat habits, I saved the blister packaging from my 1988 Warhammer 40,000 (40k) terminators.  Thought I'd share the pics for anyone who cares to see what the packaging looked like back in the day.  Also, bonus shot of my ghetto fabulous stu-stu-studio.

I will be following up on the price tag and how it translates to todays' Games Workshop pricing.

Minus the sponge.  Just not sponge-worthy.
This is not a toy.  

I know, right?  Don't be jealous.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chaos Terminator

Here are two metal terminators that I picked up in 1988.  About five years ago I repainted them, using the original Space Marine paint set.  The green one still needs a lot of work and the red one is way too dark (though I do like the aged brass effect on the power fist).  Nothing amazing, but I wanted to share some old lead and work on my (still lacking) photography skills.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Starting a Chaos Warband

For reasons I'll make clear in a future post, I am starting a small Chaos warband for Warhammer Fantasy Battles Third Edition (WHFB 3d).  Without having any idea of the direction in which I'm going, at least I know where I'm starting.  The four minis above are circa 1987.  These are among, if not the, first minis I ever painted.*  While they could certainly be improved, I don't want to overwork them given their (purely) sentimental value.
The boss.  Not sure if I'll need to run him as a vampire or if I can use him as a Lich King.

UPDATE 09/07/14: Here's a photo of him from the 1989 catalogue:
That's him, on the left.  Pointing at something.  Yes, him.
My mummy has way too much dry brushing . . .   and he's awfully far from Egypt.
This guy looks famished, despite the fact he obviously just had a bite.
Not sure whether he's actually a zombie, but I certainly painted him that way.
Upside pentagram is so chaosy.  Plus, it matches the Slayer-fan haircut.

Not sure where all this will lead, but I should be able to do more planning once I get a hold of my WHFB 3ed rulebook.  

* These are also the first minis I've ever tried to photograph for "real."  I need to work on the manual settings and the lighting, so as to not require a flash.