Monday, September 9, 2019

Galactic Heroes - Demo Crews

I've been puttering away on 11 figures from Diehard Miniatures for the last week, and last night I finally finished them.  I now have two demo crews for Wiley Games' "Fistful of Lead - Galactic Heroes" sci-fi skirmish game, so I can run a few solo games and teach myself the rules and then, hopefully, teach other people as well. 

Bounty Hunter Lillith, equipped with a jet-pack, blaster pistol and electro-whip, has hired a few mercenaries, led by cyborg Steve Austen, to strengthen her bargaining position.  After all, sometimes the extra money is worth bringing them back alive. 

Once an ordinary space pirate, the villain known as Black Skull became so much more upon his discovery of the Staff of Unlife.  The Staff granted him the ability to raise the dead and compel their service, but at a hideous cost: his own face withered into a blackened skull.  Now, completely mad and attended by terrifying revenants, he roams the spaceways taking what he pleases. 

Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong; can you hear me, Major Tom?

The way his visor leaves just his teeth and chin visible reminded me of the cover art
for Megadeth's album "Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?"

This sculpt reminded me of the undead airmen in the "B-17" segment of the 1981 animated
film "Heavy Metal." The segment had been written by Dan O'Bannon, who also wrote
1979's "Alien."

He's wearing the same style of armor and helmet as the guys in Lillith's crew above,
so I decided to interpret him as a "new recruit" in Black Skull's forces.

His armor made me think, not of Space Marines, but of the astronaut ghost from Scooby-Doo.
Hence, he is the Space-Kook.  

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Spaceship Engineers

Finished two more figures from Lead Adventures Miniatures, a pack of Spaceship Engineers who will be pressed into service as members of a very aggressive salvage crew in future games of Galactic Heroes or Rogue Stars.

I got a package of figures from Diehard Miniatures earlier this week, and as of this morning I had them all assembled, cleaned, based and primed.  I've also got them arranged into crews per the Galactic Heroes rules so I can start trying the game out soon.  Here's a bit of a teaser shot of the WIP figures on my table:

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Kroglogg Delegates Have Arrived

I've been slowly puttering away at the figures I got from Lead Adventure Miniatures' first Astropolis Kickstarter, and have finally finished two of them; the hammerheaded aliens known as "Krogloggs." The Astropolis II Kickstarter, which I was foolish enough not to back, added a number of additional Kroglogg packs to the line, some of which are hopefully on their way to me right now.  These two were the figures that enticed me to back the Kickstarter in the first place, as I loved how much character had been packed into what are genuinely simple sculpts. 

Looking at them, I felt like the texture on their skin could be interpreted as either fur or just elephant-like wrinkles, and I opted to treat them as the latter.  Over a black undercoat I dryrbushed Reaper "Highland Moss," followed by a lighter drybrush of "Pale Lichen" going a little heavier on the high point of the round belly, the tail, and the details of the face on each figure. 

The metallic gear they're wearing was picked out in "True Silver" and "Coppery Orange," with cables being detailed in "Carrottop Orange" highlighted with, well, "Highlight Orange." The shoulder-pads on the one and the mechanical claw on the other were done in "Fresh Blood" highlighted with "Phoenix Red," which was also used to basecoat their eyes (and then highlighted with "Fire Orange" for the pupils).  Finally I picked out the claws and hooves in "Stained Ivory" and the buttons on their gear using GW Technical paints - "Waystone Green," "Soulstone Blue," and "Spiritstone Red." The coppery tubes were washed with GW "Nuln Oil" to bring the shine down a bit. 

Their bases were done using baking soda - I applied superglue over the bases prior to priming, and sprinkled baking soda over that for a finer grain texture.  The baking soda and super glue react to cause the glue to harden instantly.  After priming black, the bases were drybrushed with Reaper "Cloudy Gray" and "Misty Gray."

I'm very happy with how these came out, and once I have a few more I'm hoping to field a Kroglogg hunting party in skirmish games like Rogue Stars or Galactic Heroes - the latter being a game I was made aware of by Thomas Foss' post regarding his Krogloggs over at Skull and Crown

Sunday, August 11, 2019


I've been neglectful of this blog again - granted, I've been wildly inconsistent in the time I've been spending picking up a brush! It doesn't help that it's been ungodly hot here lately, that's for sure, but I have accomplished a bit. 

So let's see here...

I did get a set of five Raptor-style dinosaurs from Reaper's Bones 4 Kickstarter painted, in a color scheme I'm really happy with - the underbellies are basecoated in Yellowed Bone and highlighted with Creamy Ivory, the flanks are Auburn Shadow highlighted with Carrot-Top Red, and the dorsal surface and stripes Dark Skin highlighted with Dark Highlights.  The open mouths are Dusty Rose Pink highlighted with Blush Pink, and the eyes are Vallejo Livery Green. 

I'm backing Crooked Dice Games' Colony 87 Kickstarter, and that reminded me that I have some figures from Lead Adventure Miniatures' first Astropolis Kickstarter still sitting in my lead-pile.  I got those cleaned up and glued to their slotta-bases and puttied over the edges of the slots.  Maybe it's just because these were early casts in the molds' lives, but these figures required almost no clean-up, which is remarkable considering how much detail they're covered in.  I was so impressed I ordered another five packs this afternoon.  These have had their bases textured and are in the priming box right now. 

And finally, I had backed Dark Fable's most recent Kickstarter and got myself a baker's dozen of fabulously sinister cultists, as well as a pack of cult treasures which will make phenomenal treasure markers in Frostgrave or similar games.  I haven't begun cleaning or basing them yet. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Mojo Lost and Found

Well, June ended up with me hitting the brakes hard on Age of Sigmar.  Games Workshop released the 2019 "General's Handbook," and I realized that if I wanted to play AoS, I'd need to accept that Games Workshop is releasing a fundamentally unbalanced game and "course-correcting" every year with a new book, rebalancing everything, and that I'd need to pay $40 a year to keep playing, and that just took the wind right out of my sails.  It's one thing if a game gets a new edition released after a few years that tidies up issues discovered after the fact with the previous edition, and quite another entirely to buy a new book every year because GW can't playtest properly.

With that realization, I lost a lot of my will to paint, which I've been teasing back by selecting figures from the box of stuff I got from Reaper's most recent Bones Kickstarter and making myself sit down and work on them, starting with this Wyvern from the core boxed set.

Started off by base-coating the dorsal surface with Reaper's "Deep Ocean" and the underside with "Cloudy Gray," then gave both a wash of GW "Drakenhof Nightshade" When that was dry, the underbelly was drybrushed with "Misty Gray" and the back with "Marine Teal," followed by a much lighter drybrush of "Surf Aqua." I brought some of the Misty Gray over on to the back at the trailing edge of the wings.  The thick scales along the spine and tail were glazed with two coats of GW "Wayfarer Green" with some also brought down along the neck and underarms to tie the two sides of the figure together some.  Inside of the mouth was done in "Old West Rose" and the teeth and claws were picked out in Vallejo Leather Brown and Reaper "Stained Ivory." The eyes are Reaper "Fire Orange."

I added a piece of GW Azyrite Ruin and the Wyvern's designed base to a 50mm base, and painted them with Delta Ceramcoat brand craft paints - basecoat black, drybrush Espresso, Dark Grey, Light Grey.  Some basing grit and grass tufts later, and we can call it done.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Unleashing the Beast

I've spent a good amount of time this weekend working on additions to my Age of Sigmar army, almost all in the form of Tzaangors, the twisted bird-goat-men that comprise Tzeentch's rendition of the standard-issue beastmen. 

I started by assembling and painting a Tzaangor Shaman, one of the leaders of this abominable species, mounted atop a half-daemon, half-machine Disc of Tzeentch.  This was to fully test-drive the color scheme I was thinking about using to model a tribe of Tzaangors native to the Realm of Fire.  I think it came out very nicely, especially with the bases done up using the "Dark Runes" Green Stuff rolling pin.  I'll be doing as many bases as I can in this style going forward.

With that out of the way, I assembled a box of ten Tzaangors, deciding to equip them with paired blades instead of sword-and-shield, forgoing a little bit of defense in favor of a boost to attack rolls.  There's also a few equipped with "Great Blades" for some extra chopping power against heavily-armored foes.  I also assembled three "Tzaangor Enlightened," more advanced and favored members of the species, who have some delightfully nasty abilities, especially if a Wizard is nearby. 

Finally, something really fun.  Eventually I'm going to want to field a "Fatemaster" in my army, but refuse to work in resin, the only material the character is available in.  So I kitbashed my own, using Warhammer 40K's "Ahriman" Chaos Sorcerer, the glaive-wielding right arm and head of a Chaos Knight, and a shield arm off the Tzaangor sprue.  A little Green Stuff to cover an attachment point where a jetpack is supposed to go and he should be good to prime. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Return to the Age of Sigmar

I played in a really enjoyable game of Age of Sigmar 2nd edition this weekend, a three-way battle between by Tzeentch army, a Stormcast army and a Nighthaunt army of ghosts.  I've had bad experiences with Age of Sigmar in the past, but Alex, the manager of the local Warhammer store, managed to pull me back in by assuring me that the in-store campaign that was starting up was going to be very focused on playing scenarios, rather than just mindless brawls, and that people bringing web-sourced tournament-style lists would be discouraged. 

I liked the changes I saw in 2nd edition, and I like that the Disciples of Tzeentch have been nerfed a bit - because DoT was so overpowered when it first came out that even my army, put together by a guy who had no idea what he was doing list-wise, was being automatically viewed as overpowered. 

I enjoyed myself enough that I decided I wanted to keep playing, so long as I can keep playing more relaxed games; I wargame for leisure, not for tournament play.  And feeling dissatisfied with both the composition and the paint jobs on the forces I have at my disposal right now, I decided I'd start rebuilding my army, one unit at a time, to create a more cohesive and thematically-interesting army. 

I picked up a box of Tzaangors, the Tzeentch-themed Beastmen, as well as a Tzaangor Shaman, because I loved the sculpts and wanted to use them as a solid core of my army.  Looking through the Disciples of Tzeentch book, a bright pink Tzaangor among the various blues caught my eye:

That got me looking at the Pyrofane Cult battalion, and thinking about the theme of fire.  A lot of Tzeentchian magic manifests in the form of varicolored flame, and one of the Mortal Realms in which Age of Sigmar games can take place is the Realm of Fire, equivalent to D&D's Elemental Plane of Fire.  A splinter-sect of the Pyrofane Cult from the Realm of Fire would be cool, and that's what I decided I'm going to pursue. 

Now I just need to resupply on plastic cement!