Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mordheim Board - Finished Painting the Board

Despite getting distracted with Hot Wheels and Epic, I have made excellent progress on the Mordheim Board.  While the buildings are still in a state of construction, I have painted up the board. Behold and despair:

Time to paint the canals.  I used a precisely measured amount of Green, Blue and Brown.  Very precise.  
Now the canals had a sickly greyish look as a base coat.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dark Future - Killer Kart

Painting these Dark Future/Car Wars minis is quite addictive.  I couldn't help but create another one, using another one my kids' old Hot Wheels:

Started off by building a machine gun out of styrene rods and plasticard.   I've been planning on trying to make a test one of these for my scratch built Warhound Titan's Vulcan Megabolter, so this was a good opportunity to start.  Basically, I used one rod in the middle and glued three gun barrels around it.  Once the glue set, I attached three more.  Then used some scrap strips around it all to add some detail.
Found a go-cart type Hot Wheels (with an awful metallic purple paint job . . . really, I was doing it a favor) and superglued on an "L" shaped styrene piece to support the gun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Dark Future - Datsun Rules the Roads of Tomorrow!

Boy, turning these Hot Wheels into combat cars of the future is fun.  And a lot cheaper than regular minis.  Which is good, 'cause I'm cheap.

Here's my second effort:

Another Hot Wheels, ready to be sacrificed!  Actually, is the singular of Hot Wheels "Hot Wheels"?  
Datsun 240Z.  Who knew Malaysia would some day be the world's largest car manufacturing center?
Drilled out the posts holding everything together and sprayed it all black (expect the windows, which I dipped in Future Floor Polish, to make the windows crystal clear).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dark Future - Copycat American Style

So, with Dark Future suddenly being all the rage, I thought I'd follow the crowd and gin up an entry in the growing army of shooty cars.  For defensive driving purposes, of course.

That said, I'm a yank, and so my touchstone for battling cars of the future is actually Steve Jackson's Car Wars games.  Back in the early '80's I spent quite a few Saturday afternoons driving little cardboard cars and motorcycles around paper roads and shooting whoever got in my way.  For defensive driving purposes, of course.

We always talked about getting some Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars and making them all shooty, or even buying some minis, but never actually did it.  UNTIL NOW!

From the pages of Autoduel Quarterly, this advert for the Katana 2034 showed the height of luxury - and safety.  I figured this would a good model to replicate.  Note the laser turret, ram plate, flaming oil jets (non-flaming oil jets are for wimps!) and wheel guards.  Perfection!
This old Hot Wheels seemed to fit the part relatively well.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Progress on Mordheim Buildings

Following up on the Mordheim board itself, here's a few shots of the buildings in progress:
Multi-unit dwelling.  This will be the centerpiece building.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Progress on Mordheim Board

So, progress on my Mordheim board has been slow, but at least there's been some recent progress.  Some pictures of the board itself (sans buildings):
Here's where things stood a few months ago.
And a more recent picture, after having added the dock and drawn in the stone details with a ball point pen.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wyrdstone Markers

I'm in the process of building a small Mordheim board.  Of course, my little metal warriors need something to chase . . . and kill each other over.  Enter, the Macguffin of Mordheim:  Wyrdstones.

I threw together a quick set of five, simple Wyrdstone markers, for the cost of a cup of coffee - and in only an hour and a half's time.  Here's a quick pictorial of the process:
I used one inch, round wooden disks, from the craft store.  Obviously, you could just as easily use regular mini bases.  Then, I glued on some marble chips, the sort you'd find in the bottom of a plant pot.  You could use any small rocks, but the marble has nice, flat surfaces that seems to work well for replicating gems.  Plus, they were just sitting around in the garage with the gardening stuff.
I used free child labor to paint the base and stones flat black, using cheap craft acrylics.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

An Epic, if Inauspicious, Beginning - My Minis Get Minis!

So, having accomplished one of my New Year's goals, of course I decided to start a whole new project to make sure I don't get ahead.

For years, I've coveted the tiny, little Epic toys.  They're like miniature . . . miniatures.  However, I really didn't want to play Epic, per se.  Or get into a new huge collection.  My purpose was just to get two, small, identical sets, and play something simple that my kids would enjoy.  Sort of like Panzerblitz, but with a 40k flavor.

So, middle of last year I picked up a small collection.  Now, time to paint!  'Ere we go.
Each side will have one Dreadnought, two Land Raiders, four Rhinos and four sets of tac squads (or, eight combat squads).  I thought that provides some variety and enough minis to keep it interesting (and inexpensive).  Gave these a quick spray of generic grey primer to get started.
For inspiration, I went back through the old painting guide for Space Marines - included FREE with the Space Marine Paint Set!  After looking through the options, I went with Space Wolves.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dusty Dirt Bases - Step by Step

For my Dark Angels terminators, I painted up some bases that I thought complemented the parchment-colored armour.  Here's a quick photo essay of how I did them:

Delta Ceramcoat is my go-to paint for just about anything nonmetallic.  It normally needs little diluting, thought it takes thinning well.  I can mix and blend colors to my hearts content, without worrying about using too much.  And, it covers well for craft paint.  For those of you in the U.S., the only place I've been able to find these paints is at Joanne's Fabrics.
Started with the standard, round 40mm bases.  Painted them with Elmer's "Glue All" white glue, cleaned up the edges with a wet finger, then dipped them in a pile of random sand mix. Once dry, I usually flow on a layer of Future Floor Polish to seal on all the sand.  Then, finally, a round of Krylon dark grey automotive primer to start off the painting.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Leiber vs. Moorcock - Part Three - Gaming the Books

Now, to bring this discussion about Fritz Leiber's Swords and Devilry and Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion back to gaming . . . 
If I could judge a book by it's cover, this one would win, hands down.  Just look how angry that horse is!
In SD, Grey Mouser and Fafrhd are prototypical RPG heroes.  They each have skills and weaknesses, motivations and goals.  They frequently appear to be a one critical hit away from death (or a lucky roll from success).  Their stories read like modules brought to life.  You can almost hear the experience points ringing up.  

However, if I were to place Grey Mouser and Fafhrd in either the D&D universe or the Warhammer analogue, I'd place them in the latter.  SD is not a world of dwarves and paladins, but rather mule skinners and rat catchers.  Not castles and dungeons (or dragons for that matter), but a well sketched-out sandbox, filled with black markets, underground guilds and half-timbered dwellings on the verge of collapse.  There's no Beholders to fear - you're more likely to get a knife in the back from a drunken beggar.  Simply put, the third story in SD is a Mordheim board brought to life.

On the other hand, EC's Erekose seems to be unplayable as a player character in either world.  While it does not appear that he's completely invulnerable, at no time in EC is he in danger of anything other than having a psychotic episode brought on by an overabundance of cognitive dissonance.  And the world he inhabits lacks any descriptions that invite exploration.  It's a low-detail hex map, a gleaming city here and a gleaming city over there, with "Palace of Ten Thousand Windows" or "jeweled gates of the palace" as typical descriptors.   No where to go, nothing to do, but wage some abstract "war" with a million warriors at your back.  

If you're looking for some hooks for your next gaming session, you could do far worse than steal a few plot points from Swords and Deviltry - and it's an enjoyable ride as well.  The Eternal Champion is certainly worth a read too, but I didn't find much inspiration for the tabletop.  That said, I'm guessing that Moorcock's Elric series may be more in line with traditional gaming tropes - and in fairness, Elric is the series is mentioned specifically in both Appendix N and "Oldhammer Reader".  So, I'm probably judging Moorcock's wrong work for gaming purposes.  But, these were both sold as the "opening" books in their respective series, so . . . there you are.

As an aside, I have an unread copy of the Stormbringer RPG (the 1987 version issued in tandem by Games Workshop and Chaosium).  So, I'm looking forward to reading more about Elric and the game based on his world.  There must be something playable in Moorcock's other books - else there wouldn't be an entire RPG about it.  Right? 

Anyway, thanks for sticking through these posts.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on both books!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Leiber vs. Moorcock - Part Two

As mentioned yesterday post, Fritz Leiber's Swords and Deviltry ("SD") introduces the reader to the Farfhd (a variation of the barbarian prince) and the Grey Mouser (a variation of the classic thief - with a wizardly twist).  Meanwhile, Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion ("EC") features a regular joe named John Daker from the 20th Century - who basically wakes up one day in another time, as "Erekose", the Champion of Humanity.  Like John Carter, he's a man lost in another world, but with newly found powers.  
Fafhrd - from his Deities and Demigods entry.
These books could both be called "Fantasy" literature, but they're quite different.  First, what I see as the similarities:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Leiber vs. Moorcock - Two Authors from Appendix N

Swords and Deviltry VS. The Eternal Champion

Like many young lads in the early '80's, I looked over the legendary Appendix N to Gary Gygax's AD&D Dungeon Master's guide many times.  That said, I hadn't read all that many works on the list until recent years.

Grey Mouser (f/k/a Mouse) from "Deities and Demigods".
One entry always stood out, though, even then - Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series.  Even without knowing anything about the series, I could tell that the Grey Mouser was my kind of hero - small in stature, large in attitude.  The colorful (despite being in B&W) depiction of Grey Mouser in the old Deities and Demigods book also lit my imagination.  A true rapscallion! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dark Angels Terminators - Low Hanging Fruit - Thanks to Minwax!

Well, I've already managed to knock one (1) goal off my New Year's resolution list.  Sure, it was low hanging fruit - a handful of the ubiquitous Dark Angel terminators from the Dark Vengeance box set.  But, hey, celebrate the small victories, am I right?  Am I right??


Well, anyway, I didn't even think to put these guys in a light box, so the pictures are . . . weak.  But, here they are, to celebrate my first goal achieved:

As of New Year's Day.  Primed with tan Krylon and dry brushed with white.
All the colors blocked out as of January 2nd . . . 
Post Minwax dip on the 4th!  And a few hours of highlighting, today.  
I've had a lot of recent success with mixing ink, distilled water and matte medium.  Frankly, that's what I ought to be using.  But, I had bought a can of Minwax Polyshades Tudor Satin and the stuff works just too well not to use on quick and dirty projects like this.  Check this out:
Pre-stain blurry pic . . . 
The Magic of Minwax.  It even makes your pictures less blurry!  Seriously though, for bits like the studs, it really brings out the details.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Look Back at 2014

So, as is typical, I'm a day late, a dollar short and all backwards.

Most folks do a year in review on New Years Eve.  Then a New Years Resolutions on New Years Day.  I've gone and done mine backwards . . . and missed New Years Day.  Oh well, nonetheless, here's some highlights from the year that was:

The first Space Marine.  From the Doctor Who boardgame.  
I started my blog back on July 19th in order to help me focus on finishing the various projects I've had a tendency to start but not complete . . and the chance to get all fan boy with my favorite bloggers.  If you've not started a blog, or at least a G+ account, I highly recommend it.  I'd been lurking for years, but nothing motivates like the feeling of having to show one's work.  And, despite some fears, the G+ crowds, and in particular the OldHammer community, is very positive and helpful.  Though, for the first few months, my most popular post was about a piece of trash, and my blog only has six followers to date . . . .  

My First Logo