Sunday, October 16, 2016

Base problem

That moment, late at night, when you've just finished a batch of bases for some minis, then you go back to the minis you have ready to rebase, and realise you didn't do enough.

Guess I'll be painting four more of them tomorrow evening!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Scifi minis

Summer is winding down, and that seems to have meant I get back to the painting table. With the heavy reference on Sci-Fi gaming in my last post, it only seems fitting that the minis I have painted this week are in that genre. These are some old minis, that have been bumping around in various lead piles for quite a while Fist off, we have two old Void VASA minis, one civilian and one marine one marine. The marine was painted and previewed a while ago on some Facebook groups, but not, apparently here on my blog. She has now been transfered to a better base and finished off. The Civilian has been painted up with the thought of him being a SLA Operative for Cannibal Sector 1 despite the lack of apparent armour. He is generic enough to fit in with Rogue Stars and also the Black Ops mission I'm planning too.

One commonality these three minis have is that I busted out some freehand on all three, to greater and lesser success. The Escher Juve, for example has a knife, sponsored by MAC knives of SLA industries, whereas the Op at the start has kneepads with various freehand attempts (can you tell which film, recently available on neflix I was watching when I did the right kneepad?). The tiger pelt helmet is the freehand I'm most proud of. despite the success of this attempt, I'll be unlikely to complete the rest of her unit in the same theme.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

SciFi gaming, the new frontier... least for me.

I have been looking forward to two games that are on the horizon. Bot of which are Sci-Fi games, which is not my normal wheelhouse.

Rogue StarsThe first of these, which will also be the first to be released is Rogue Stars by Osprey Publishing.This will be released in December, and like all Osprey games, will be designed so that it can be played with whatever miniatures the players wish. This allows me to find a means to put miniatures on the table from Necromunda, Void, Urban War, Infinity and whatever other futuristic minis I have (like Doctor Who personalities and companions). I know little of this game, other than it seems to be a points based squad construction skirmish game. Less like Frostgrave,and more like In Her Majesty's Name. the important thing about it is that it should generate enough of a buzz to get other players interested, and that's all it takes to get games, which is, after all the important thing. That and telling them they can use their 40K minis withour having to put a weekend aside!

The second game I am eagerly awaiting is Cannibal Sector 1 by Daruma Productions. A new game based in the World of Progress. As a player of SLA industries back in the day, I love this IP, and was convinced to part with cash to help them fund their Kickstarter, which should be fulfilled some time next spring/summer. As SLA was a game I played quite often with friends in Scotland, I'm not sure what interest there will be in my local gaming group to try it, but I was heartened to find second hand copies of the RPG in local stores, so someone was playing SLA here. The worst case scenario here is that I get all the CS-1 miniatures (which do look nice), and use them as a faction in Rogue Stars, and use that as a means of attracting the attention of other gamers. A honey trap if you will.

With both these games in mind, I have been looking through my lead pile to find minis that can be used for either game. I think I have a short list, which I have been prepping and basing, ready to get painting. The first batch of SLA-ops should hit the painting table soon!

So that's what's on the horizon, but what about games for the more recent future? Well, the winter gaming season is just round the corner, and for that, I ordered some things from amazon recently, and am now the owner of Back Ops, The Men Who Would be Kings, and Frostgrave: Into the Breeding Pits, All released from Osprey Publishing.

Frostgrave: Into the Breeding PitsIn terms of Play-ability, I foresee most use for the Breeding Pits expansion for Frostgrave. In terms of what it contains, this is not a campaign, like Thaw of the Liche lord (which went down very well with local players), but is the most in depth expansion of rules and options that has been sp far released for Frostgrave. There are 6 scenarios in the book, along with a host of rules for playing in dungeons, traps, and new magic options. In all it seems quite complicated (for Frostgrave), and I will have to sit down and see the best way to implement what it contains. I think I'll try to string the scenarios together into a campaign, and run that with the locals, but it will take a bit more planning, and introducing the players to what is now available.
Black Ops

I have heard of at least one other player in town who would want to play Black Ops. The cover, and indeed interior artwork seems to suggest it was more in the futuristic Solid Snake style game, which is a way it can be played, but the photographed miniatures in the book are more of a Black Hawk Down style. This may just be the miniatures the author had access to, and the rules seem to be able to be played both ways, so this is going in the Sci Fi bracket for me, and I'm going to put together a scenario where I can run my Urban War Triads as modern Ninjas, versus teched our Viridian Colonial Marines. That seems like it'd be a way to get people interested.

The final of the new book triad is then The Men Who Would Be Kings. This is a game that I see the least use out of in my current gaming circle. Unfortunately. One thing I was pleasantly surprised about, was the use of artwork in this book. Along with the usual photographs of pertinent miniatures, there was also judicious use of artwork from Osprey's other books. This was not something I had noticed in the other Osprey wargaming books I have, indeed, in the first expansion book for In Her Majesty's Name was notorious for having absolutely no artwork, not even photos of minis. There may have been a few reasons for that, but it is a poor show in this modern era of wargame publishing, where we have grown to expect more. I think another reason I have not noticed this use of artwork by Osprey is that the other books I have are more fantasy based, and therefore have required the commissioning of specific art. Either way, this book has 6 full page colour plates, 3 of which by Angus McBride, along with many other half page plates. I call that in itself a win. In terms of game play, it seems to be more on scale with the authors previous works, Lion and Dragon Rampant, so mid-scale, with a few units of up to 16 men for large tribal units, normal units are 12. I must say, I don't own enough historicals to run this one, but I will be trying to use it to field my Dystopian Legions miniatures. I can't see that being too much of a clash with the rules, and certainly remains in the spirit of the game, which is more based on the cinematic than the Historic.

So there we go a rahter Opsrey biased look at my near future wargaing plans. Frostgrave as a means to get people to the table, followed up with scenarios written to get player buy-in to the other games (which they already have minis for) followed by (ideally) an Osprey gaming night, where folks come along to play variations of these games and others. Okay, the last bit is a bit of a stretch, but I'm working on the owner of my FLGS to make it more likely, as he gets to sell the books and minis to support such a venture.

As they say, watch this space!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Too little, too late?

A recent announcement by Spartan Games on their blog, on the support for their Dystopian line of games (Dystopian Wars and Dystopian Legions). Legions was the only one of their games that interests me, as I'm really not into the smaller scale games. I'm really not sure what this means in terms of game support, which has been lacking for years now, but I'll be keeping an eye on this none-theless.

Dystopian LegionsDystopian Legions is now four years old and whilst more niche, we know that it has a following every bit as dedicated as Dystopian Wars, albeit somewhat smaller.  We are changing how we sell the product line, and will do everything to continue supporting the game and its loyal players.
We have therefore decided that all of the Dystopian Legions product line will be available via mail order from our online store only, also taking effect from October 31st 2016. By selling it as an entirely mail order product line, we can make it easier for customers to expand their armies with individual models and lower pricing by not needing to cater for packaging or trade discounts. This is a bold move for Legions, but one that we feel will strengthen the game in the highly populated 28mm scale miniature gaming space in which it competes.
This is the start of a number of exciting changes for Dystopian Legions which will firmly put the gaming control in the hands of its players. The greater customisation of purchase options will allow gamers to choose exactly how they want to play with their miniatures, from small squad-based adventures to platoon level actions!

So, all minis are available individually. This is cool I guess, as there are some sculpts I do not have that I don't want to buy a squad box just to have. This will also make the minis more tempting to those that play other games (like In Her Majesty's name), but I think it just means they hope to sell minis without having to give games or rule support. I rather feel that the second edition of this game was rushed out, unfinished then left high and dry as Spartan got their hands on the HALO IP. The reboxing of the miniatures and how the squads were built in game was also something I think was botched. Here's hoping the shipping isn't the issue that kills this to gamers outside of the UK.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

In Summer....

I always seem to have a dearth of posts in summer, but I had to break the silence to post this. 

My last few posts have been recounting the various WIP stages of a modelling commission by me to Le Zonion. I have a few more WIP shots of the modelling process, which I will share in another post. Le Zonion also has the equipment to be able to cast some small number of miniatures too, so we decided to go down this route, for the very simple fact that both my daughters, and his son, after seeing the mini, wanted their own copies. So he went ahead and cast it. This lead to a delay in getting the arms right, then some experimentation with new mold materials. All in all a very educational process for me, who has never been on the inside of this mind of process before.

Finally the first batch was done. Of a run of 30 minis, 10 were usable, but improvements have already been made for the next attempt.

This does thankfully mean that on Tuesday evening I got my hands on three little metal Snow Golems. One for me, and one for each of the girls. This evening, I speed painted one. And here we have the final results.

And here he is with the rest of his family. Don't they all look so happy together!?

I am inordinately pleased with the way he has come out. The only thing that Le Zonion did suggest was that I drill a hole in his head, and insert three strands of wire from the inside of a tie-tag (or another very thin wire) to suggest branch-like hair, but I skipped on this part for this one, so I could get him on the table for my Frostgrave game tomorrow evening!

If there are any of you interested in getting your hands on one of these Snow Golems, perhaps to give him a warm hug, then do get in touch, the second batch should be available soon!

Monday, June 13, 2016

WIP Modelling Commission IV

Ok, the Snow Golem is now completed in terms of the main body, head and face, with only the hair and arms to go, however, he has been paused at this stage, as how these parts progress will depend on whether or not the miniature will stay as a green, for me to paint and use as an unique commissioned piece, or whether he will be cast in metal, so that multiple copies of him can be made.


If he is to be cast, then the arms and hair will have to be made thicker. Then a decision has to be made one way or the other, if he is to be cast, then how many copies are to be made.
This is an ongoing discussion, and if it is possible to cast, I'll be sure to post here to see if anyone wants one!

Either way, I am super happy with what Le Zonion has done!

Friday, June 10, 2016

WIP Modelling Commission III

A little something to bring a smile to your Friday afternoon. The latest WIP shot of my miniature Snow Golem.

Happy Friday and warm hugs to you all.

What I'm impressed by is that le Zonion did some of the sculpting for it on the train! I have trouble keeping my hands stable at a desk some times.