Sunday, October 13, 2019

Zomtober 2019 Week 2 With Poison Ivy

No, not the Batman villain. I actually got poison ivy last week - and to make matters worse I actually got it around my left eye and it swelled up something fierce! Living on the farm getting poison ivy is nothing new for me, I'm good to get it several times a year and as annoying as it is I can usually power through it without seeking medical attention, but this time, not so much. It took me out of commission for quite a while and obviously made it difficult to get anything done this week for Zomtober, but I did manage to sneak a few completed models in at the last minute.

Anyone who has followed the blog for a while knows that I'm not a big fan of multipart plastic models - especially the WWII ones where trying to glue weapons into hands and arms is enough to make me bang my head against the nearest wall. But the Mantic zombie models for Kings of War are really nice and have some really incredible poses - much more aggressive than any of the undead you'll find in Mantic's The Walking Dead game so that's what I decided to give a go for this week.

The one thing I think I finally figured out is an undead skin tone. I have struggled with this from the very first time I tried to paint undead and have been trying all kinds of different recipes over the years with varying degrees of success, but I think I finally have a winner. The models are primed with the new Games Workshop Grey Seer, then I used Vallejo's Pale Grey Blue to paint all the skin.

I then washed the skin with Army Painters Green Tone Quickshade wash and that made all the difference in my eye (the one that was working at least lol!). I decided to not go all blood and gore on these models as I feel less is more with these types of undead figures.

I did a couple of other figures really quickly using some contrast paints since I only had a few models completed. First was this monk from Effin Cool Minis through their last Kickstarter.

I have 9 more completed but still need to get them based. The red contrast paint made them paint up really easily. I also have some really fun terrain pieces to go with the set that I hope to get completed in the near future.

When I first saw these monk figures it reminded me of what was my piece de resistance of my teenage Dungeons and Dragons years and the adventure 'Master of the Desert Nomads'. The last part of the adventure took place in this monastery high up in the mountains where this group of monks offer help, food, and shelter to the party but when night time comes they change into their true forms - sort of like vampire/undead creatures, making the adventuring party their targets. It made for an absolutely incredible gaming experience and was just the perfect ending to what was already an incredible adventure.

So that's what I was trying to accomplish with these models, and why the undead have red clothing - the monk models would represent the day time and the creepy undead models would represent the night time versions. So ideally I'd like to complete 7 more of the Mantic zombies, which will give me equal numbers for the day and night monks.

Something I would really love to try to do is to run that adventure again. I've subtlety been dropping hints to my son to see if there is any interest from him about playing, and now that I belong to an actual gaming club, who knows, maybe that could be a possibility. But ultimately I'd love to use my much improved terrain building skills and all the models I have to just build the monastery in 28mm. It is something that I've thought about for a long time now, and something that could be pretty impressive visually I think - and could even be used for other types of games, pulp or spy-fi for instance. We shall see :)

And finally just for fun, and since it's October, I painted up the Mummy from Crooked Dice's Pulp Kickstarter. This is a fantastic model and with the contrast paint took no time at all to complete.

Until next time, when hopefully both my eyes will be fully functioning, thanks for looking!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Zomtober 2019 Week 1 With Bad Squiddo's Van Helsing

I think this qualifies for Zomtober as it kind of falls into that undead/horror category - anyway that's my story and I'm sticking to it 😀 I have finally got my Van Helsing models from Bad Squiddo based and completed.

Sure Van Helsing isn't a great movie, but I have no problem admitting that I do like it a lot 🙂  I really like the filtered and muted colors that it is filmed in and there are several really neat sequences, like the opening fight with Mr. Hyde and the carriage chase just to name a few.

The three brides from the film are definitely a highlight - that sequence when they attack the town is really good and could make for a really fun scenario on the tabletop I think.

These vampire hunters I think are modeled after one of the old Hammer horror films, I could be wrong though.

Someone gets these guys a couple of garlic t-shirts and holy water stat!

This chap has a sword of D&D proportions! I like it 😀

I didn't realize that the two females were also vampires and mistakenly painted their skin like they spend their days at a tanning salon. Oh well, fixing that has now gone to the top of the to do list.

A close up of Dracula with Anna in the background.

And a close up of a couple of those lovely brides, well probably more deadly than lovely 😀

Here is the list so far - hopefully we'll add more to the list - of other blogs participating in this year's Zomtober

Kieron at Cheaphammer!!!
Simon at Fantorical
Terry at Miniature Mayhem
Azazel at Azazel's Bitz Box

Until next week, thanks for looking!

Monday, September 30, 2019

A Game... At An Actual Game Club?!

Yes, you actually read that correctly. We have a local game club, Shieldwall Game Club, that just opened up a few weeks ago - and it's only about 15 minutes or so from the farm. For years I've had no one to really roll dice with and within the last several months I've met new gaming friends and now a club opens up, madness I tell you!

The club was doing a big order of mouse pad mats at a discount so Beau and I jumped on that and ordered a couple of mats for ourselves. When the mats came in I thought why not bring Bolt Action up there to play since we're going there anyway - BA is definitely one of the more popular games being played right now.  It was definitely a bit of a last minute thing so we weren't able to create a table up to the usual high standards that we like (I literally threw some terrain into a box before I jumped in the car), but I guarantee you next time it will be! And never mind the fact that we hadn't played BA in years as shown by the fact that I still had version 1 quick reference sheets that we were using for the first couple of order dice lol!

Anyway, it was still fun just to roll some dice and to meet the new owner of the club Jeff - who just seems like a really great guy and I wish him all the best in being able to keep the club going and more importantly growing.

I used my US 82nd Airborne and Beau brought along his German Herr. Knowing how I both roll and play I made sure to have plenty of my casualty figures available!

We were just going to play a simple shoot 'em up but I have this really cool downed pilot model so we used that as the objective instead to give the game a little more narrative - the idea being that this allied pilot had been shot down and was hiding out in the destroyed church. Each of us had to try to reach him first and then get him off the table. Basically it was the "Top Secret" mission.

Like I'd mentioned above it had been forever since either of us had played Bolt Action so there was plenty of questions like "how does that work again?" "how many shots does that get?" "they can move how far?" "that hits on what again?" etc. Thankfully Jeff  was there painting up some models, so he was answering questions as we stumbled along.

I managed to get my MMG team in a great position to stop Beau from snatching the pilot easily, but as per usual my dice rolling was pretty horrific and they absolutely did nothing to stop him from rolling right up to the church.

I didn't get a close up photos of Beau's models but trust me when I say that they looked absolutely fantastic!

As you might have guessed he managed to get to the pilot first and successfully escorted him off the table for the victory. He took out a whole lot more of my airborne as well so overall it would have been a landslide victory for him, but at least I didn't get tabled lol!

But here has been the best part of having new people to game with and now a club where we'll meet even more new people - it's totally motivating me to complete things I have started in the past and to start things that have sat in boxes for way too long. This 4Ground Pegasus Bridge model is a perfect example of that.

As I mentioned Bolt Action is a pretty popular game at the club right now so seeing all the talk and photos of games going on got me thinking about finally finishing up this beast that I let go to the wayside for years now. Operation Deadstick is definitely something I think the club will see in the future with my bridge as the centerpiece.

The rabbit hole that I'm now headed down though is painting all the exposed wood sides.

The difference when painted really makes the model look 100 times better, but it's taking 100 times longer to complete lol!

Another fun little model that has sat in its box for way too long is this submarine from Empress Miniatures. I bought this, I think, two years ago and did absolutely nothing with it despite it being a super cool center piece to any table.

While talking about different games and ideas Jeff mentioned how he really wanted to do some kind of commando raid with a submarine. When I got home that night I found the box and made some plans to start prepping it for getting built.

It originally came in six pieces but I glued it into three pieces, though I may just go ahead and glue it all together so I won't have the extra exposed gaps. They were pretty bad honestly, but I think the filler will make it look like they were never there after I get some paint on it.

The conning tower will take some serious work to fill gaps so we'll see how that pans out, but overall I'm super pleased with how the sub is looking so far and when I showed Jeff the WIP photos he was excited at the possibilities.

In farm news, the addition is finally completed!

This is where we were six months ago.

And four months ago.

Seven new stall added on to the existing barn, which gives us a total of thirteen now.

But here's the kicker, this is the space above the new stalls... look at all that elbow room. This just crushes my current game/studio! 35'x70' with high ceilings, yes please lol! It would be the perfect space for gaming and hobbying but unfortunately it'll never happen - maybe I can throw a table or two up there if I get a few people to come over though, that way no one will be banging their head on the ceiling of my game room at the cottage.

And finally a shout out to my brother from another mother Jay White over at Jay's Wargaming Madness - he sent me this brilliant shirt a few weeks ago. Jay and I have been following each other's blogs for years now but more importantly have developed a friendship while never actually meeting each other (yet anyway!). I had sent him a parody Die Hard shirt last Christmas and now have tried to one up him as I sent him a Lord of the Rings parody shirt last week for his epic LotR game he ran at Kublacon. This is what I absolutely love about this hobby, the community and friendships it builds.

As always, thanks for looking!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

More 7TV With My Disaster Dice

I got a chance to head over to Beau's again for some more 7tv a few weeks ago and it was a blast!

And the table was just gorgeous as you can see 😃

This factory complex was just incredible and it had a real James Bond feel to it.

Goldeneye anyone?!

He did an amazing job painting up all the computer consoles, data banks, and cooling panels from Crooked Dice (made by Figurebitz). I have a boatload of these myself and have only built a couple, but seeing what he did makes me want to go back and copy his paint scheme instead.

As usual I was too focused on getting crushed to take but a couple of photos. I did take a few but almost everything you see is courtesy of Beau.

Beau's cast was pretty heavy on minions as you can see with all the orange suited models above and below, so while he had a superior model count I definitely had a much more powerful cast. Completely forgot to take any pre-game photos of my cast.

What was really fun was he had two tables set up next to one another so he and I had a game and then Chris and Bob had a game of their own going on at the same time - no photos from next door unfortunately 😕

Chris was nice enough to lend me one of his casts that had a lot of really neat aspects to it - which of course I completely mucked up at every possible roll of the dice lol!

I had models that could teleport anywhere on the table, which in hindsight totally should have been used to grab objectives early on.

Each of us had a team of dogs and a handler which was fun!

A good scientist always has gadget and this model had one to get him right to the top of the platform.

Which made this first objective easy pickings for Beau.

Orange suited minions just swarmed across the factory floor pinning several of my models into a corner.

Flamethrower model leading the way around the corner.

A heavy weapons team protected his right flank from above.

A really fun part of the game was this poisonous gas cloud (represented by the orange blast template) that moved around the floor of the factory compound randomly at the start of each turn - I even managed to muck up those rolls lol! I totally could have caught orange suited minions in the cloud several times in the game but who is the only person to possibly roll a 3 on two six sided dice (the number you rolled on the two six siders represented the amount in inches that the cloud moved)??!! Yeah, you guessed it, this guy.

Despite my failures, these types of random events in a game are things that I absolutely love and always try to work into my games somehow.

Chris and Bob played with the same random event and during the talks of each of our games afterwards the poisonous cloud was the game changer for Chris as his star succumbed to the effects of the cloud and ended up turning sides which helped Bob win right at the end.

While it was disaster dice on my end, Beau was just crushing it on his dice rolls. I can't quite remember if this was his heavy weapons team die roll, but regardless he hit on every single added dice and pretty much summed up the night.

This was my one objective grab of the game, utilizing the teleporting ability of this model.

This photo represents what was my big plan and my BIG failure at the same time. This was my most powerful model of the cast - and by far the most powerful model on the entire table. So first activation of the game for me and I immediately use a grappling hook gadget to her up two levels to the top of the catwalk with the cylinder containers as I was going to go after Beau's scientist who'd already grabbed one objective on the other end of the platform. If this worked (and how could it not work with this particular character!!) I could easily put myself in a flanking position and really cause havoc for Beau's crew.

Well, the dice had other ideas. As I mentioned this was the most powerful model on the table, hitting on a base of +10 (average for a model is usually about +8) and getting 2 attacks! Well, needless to say when I announced my attacks all I needed to hit was to get three's or higher on I think it was five dice and sure enough missed on everything!!?? It summed up perfectly how the rest of my night would end up going with rolling the dice. By far one of the most disastrous night's of rolling dice I can honestly ever remember lol!

I did at least have one fun cinematic moment where I was able to take out Beau's flamethrower model - we both agreed it would have been fun to house rule an explosion next time if that model gets taken out! Needless to say I got absolutely crushed - claimed but one lonely objective and had more than half my entire cast eliminated. But despite how badly I played it was still a ton of fun regardless of the outcome.

Remember the Alamo? Well, I got all the roofs, doors, and windows all painted up - and what a huge difference it makes.

I will tell you that in researching the Alamo I have bought a several books, with The Illustrated Alamo 1836: A Photographic Journey being far and away the greatest resource if you want to accurately represent the Alamo on the tabletop. The big question is do I actually want to go that route? I think there are some things I definitely will change on the Hudson & Allen model to make it more accurate, but it does make me wonder where H&A got their information from on how they designed their model - there are some things in the model that are no where close to being accurate. Though it could simply be changes/decisions were made purely from a gaming standpoint. Anyway, stay tuned.

Until next time, thanks for looking!