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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Deep Cut Studios mats and Tabletop World Village Progress

 I got a couple of tubes in the mail yesterday from Deep Cut Studios with some really cool looking cobblestone print vinyl game mats.

 I was pretty jazzed to see them so I pulled out the TTW buildings and slid them around the mats just to see how it looked.

 The mats are thin vinyl but seem waterproof and scratch resistant.  I got two 4x4 mats... this one with streets and one that is entirely cobblestone.  I'll use each or both of them depending on the setting.  I like the freedom of the cobblestone only print but this street layout is pretty appealing as well. 

The edges of the mats do not lay flat even after putting books on them overnight.  I imagine I'll have to use some tape... thats probably a good idea anyway as a heavy 'lean in' across the table might unseat the whole business and create a model shattering launch event!

The street/grass gets that haphazard but organized village feel.  Lining up the buildings so that their doors open in logical areas just feels more organic.

 I realized that, although I've painted several TTW buildings recently I'm really only about Halfway through the pile.  I also noticed that I have somehow not yet painted up an example of the Townhouse II which has a very cool covered second story gallery.  Chop chop!
 I've been keeping an eye on Zuzzy to put out a textured rubber cobblestone mat without the grid overlay because I thought I'd miss the ground texture.   I'll still get one I think but these are ready to play right out of the box and the smooth surface makes sliding things around much easier... so I'll probably use these most of the time and add them to my 'away' kit.
 Here is a birds eye view of the painted village to date.

In the painting que there still remains 1x Townhouse I, 2x Townhouse II,  and 1x Townhouse III.  Townhouse II and Townhouse III are large buildings which will add interest to the skyline and fill out this mat nicely.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reaper Bones I Fire Giant Warrior and Bones II arrives

 A Fire Giant Warrior from the Reaper Bones I Kickstarter.  Hot colors, of course, from Vallejo Scrofulous Brown through Reaper Master Series Yellow Triad, Fire Triad, Vallejo Skin tones in the rosa range, and a little GW technical Blood Red.

I primed these Rustoleum black... which never really set up... as they, nonetheless, took paint readily and the tackiness did not persist through the paint/sealer so that's a win!  Seriously though, this 'slightly hydrophobic' material makes me a bit batty.
 Giant dude standing or, more accurately, hunching next to Mortaria for scale.

Metals are metallic with some washes and highlights.. GW Tin Bitz, Hashut Copper, and Dwarven Bronze washed with Secret Weapon yellow snow and top glazed with Secret weapon sunshine.

I'm adding in a few of these Reapers just to remind myself that they are lying about... the price of too many ..."oh... shiny"  Kickstarters!

 I'd been meaning to add to my stash of generic FRP minis and who doesn't need some giants AMIRITE!

The sculpt is generally pretty cool and massive, if somewhat short, enough to make a passable giant but the excessively hunched pose makes a lot of the mini unavailable for viewing... a cool face... pointed at the ground... darn!
... and then Reaper Bones II showed up!  I did manage to exercise a bit more restraint for this second offering but still landed a pretty sizable haul.  Pain paint paint!  I've just looked at it in a cursory way but already it seems that the material has been altered a bit.  Its stiffer, which is a great thing, so the minis feel more rigid than rubbery.  It remains to be seen if they are as 'hydrophobic' as their predecessors but we'll find out this week!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Darksword's Harbinger

 Darksword's Harbinger is a really beautiful mini.  I don't paint many stand alone figures, which is something my friend Tanya B thought I should correct... and I agree!

...but... I couldn't resist working Harbinger into the background fluff for mt TGG armies! DoH!
 Here she appears to be crying... some bloodstained tear tracks down her face.
 I opted to steer away from the very smooth highlight transitions because the figure just seems to be made of drama... sharp shadows and highlights make for easy drama.  I ended up shading the shadows which was a fun experiment.

I used GW Asurman Blue as the initial shade and then Secret Weapon Blue as a highlight shade.
The base robes were an old Rackham Glacial Blue (thanks Pat!) that got highlighted with Vallejo Foundation White and Vallejo Pure White.
 This is the plot board for the freehand designs.  I was trying to come up with a simple symbol I could use in the fluff for the "Cult of the Harbinger" which worked out pretty well in the topmost circled rune.

Then a border design and some experiments for spacing and some modified lettering.  My first take was a little crowded looking so I went with (circled) a wider spacing.

I've got a long way to go to get really strong, regular and subtle designs but I feel like I got a good start on it.  I'm already able to repeat the simple designs in fairly uniform size but the strength and depth of the lining needs work.  I'll be able to compare future projects to this and see how its going.
  ...sigh... feathers!  I am going to need to do more feathers... as I seem to not quite have it yet.

I wanted to give the impression that Harbinger's appearance was accompanied by a spurt of growing, living, things.. so the a profusion of  flowers got added to what was an otherwise barren landscape on the base.   I originally intended to work outward with dead grass and weeds but it turned out to be a bit too much and blurred the transition zone.
 Here are some of the WiPs as I was figuring out actual placements for the designs.
Messing around with feathers....

Thanks Tanya!  This is going to launch me down a different path for a bit.

... now to find something challenging for her! Muahahahaha!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Malice RPG: Tombs of the Dark Sun - Starter Set

 So... technically this is really a WiP.  For two reasons actually.  First... the very cool

Tombs of the Dark Sun - Starter Set

 is not yet complete.  I finished the floors and several of the wall sections are well along the way.... actually I thought I'd finished them until I saw how cool the candles could look with some OSL... sigh... SO those will have to get retrofitted! 

I wanted to set up these tomb like areas to support some scenes with the Iron Empire as I'm spinning them as a hidden remnant of the Necrontyr.  So... Tombs.. Mortuary Cults... some pseudo-Egytptian flavors... etc...

 Since the Iron Empire is being worked up in Purple and Cream I was thinking about staying with cool colors. In retrospect using some warm OSL for the candle alcoves will look awesome... er soo... yeah better get on that! I wanted a sandstone and turquoise kinda feel so I started with a Blue base coat and worked up some sand colors from there... Vallejo Tan Earth, Vallejo Sand, Secret Weapon Dark Sepia Wash, top up with Vallejo Sand.



The rest of the set is doors that work, some water features, and a tomb.  I'll most likely use this set for Heroquest or a Fantasy RPG but it'll always be an Iron Empire Crypt in my mind!


 That brings us to the early stages of Harbinger.  I did a reboot on my basing scheme as I suddenly got this hair-brained idea to work her into the Battlezone scenarios as an omen/special effect that can appear on battles in the zone.  I'd originally gone with a more elaborate base with a ruined arched window... that sort of thing... but it was looking to busy and distracted from Harbinger itself.

Currently she's planned to be a ginger at the orange end of the spectrum with cool colors in the robes and the long-feathers with the warm spot of her hair and some strong dark accent in the short feathers.

I've been scratching my head about some free hand in the robes but haven't settled on anything just yet... I better do it son though because its time!  The subsurface, cool color, shading  being held up while I dither!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Raging Heroes Jailbird Troops

So I finally gelled on troop themes...  I'm still shooting for the refugee army thing but the troops ended up being slightly more uniformed than I remembered.   Its OK though as they have a lot of personality and the variety from the ball joint style construction should be really excellent.

 On the Veteran Sergeant I failed to notice that an officer's torso was in the kit... oops... next time!

These come with a lot of spare parts and weapon options.  I'll have to keep an eye on the weapon mix going forward and make sure to build several of each option of special and heavy-ish weapon.  Its a bit odd for heavies as most of those should be covered by the weapon teams. 

A lot of work got done on the Codex for each faction which helps when deciding how to build squads.  Those will go up once I've kicked them a few more times.

Each group of five came with eight heads so... loads of variation down the road.

I decided for the veterans I'd go with a "Prison Pride" vibe and have them in, or in portions of, their prison uniforms.   Now that I've said that I might want to add id numbers in.... I'll leave those till the end.

The Lookout!  Might have to make that an actual job in the fluff.

 For the regulars I'm going to have a variety of non-orange clothes. I figure I'll paint each batch up in a similar way and then mix and match to get the right mix of military green, workman blue, khaki, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  We'll have to see how that grand plan works out!
 There are some blood red uniform accents scattered throughout... the "Bloody Red Banner of Revolution"  I imagine that the Kurganova Overlords frown upon such displays in the Jailbird Division but the girls are Tough! and quite used to KST disapproval.

 Washes and glazes over white primer. Some layering particularly on the gun details and on the Veteran Sergeant's epaulettes. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Secret Weapon Rapid Assault Vehicle joins the Jailbirds

 Today the Jailbirds get some support from Secret Weapon in the form of their 6x6 wheeled Rapid Assault Vehicle (RAV).

This will fulfill the primary "Tank" role for the Jailbirds in keeping with the plan to field them as a Light/Medium weight force with a largely wheeled vehicle fleet.

The RAV is shown in all the variant weapon configurations.  There are 7 main weapon choices and 2 hull mounted secondary weapon choices.  For the Play list I'll write these up based around the Chimera hull with some "Expeditionary" (lighter) variations on the Lehman Russ main weapons and a reduced transport capacity (4 or 6) to compensate for the focus on the primary "Tank" role as well as using them to replace the Hellhound and its variations.  Basically I want to take advantage of all the weapon options the kit offers.

I've used and Anarchy symbol as the squadron badge here and will likely add one more of these next time I make a Secret Weapon restock.

 These are weathered with Secret Weapon Washes and Forge World Powders.  The powders make a good dirt/mud treatment.

I still visualize the Jailbirds as an ad-hoc force with very informal organization so the vehicles tend to be named rather than numbered.

The RAV has a nice angled profile and is very textured so it doesn't really require a lot of flat art.
 I experimented with the idea that these are aluminum based alloy, or similar, so weathering was more shiny than corroded, except for the exhaust system.

Prepping regular Jailbird troopers now ... zoom zoom!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tarja and Shashenka: Kurganova Yagas

 So.. here I was painting up Tarja and Shashenka, two of the Kurganova Yagas,  when I was inspired (probably by the very personality driven sculpts) to write up a bit of background fluff to guide me on my themes!  So.. here are Tarja and Shashenka and a close encounter with One Shot Blondie.

One Shot Blondie stopped short and held up a fist.  The pack of children known affectionately as "The Lulus" stopped instantly and in complete silence.  Blondie had been their guardian and commander since before the evacuation.  She wasn't effusive, and rarely spoke other than to tell one of the kids..."its gonna be all right sweetie"  The Lulus loved Blondie and hung on every word, every gesture, so  it was no surprise when the typically precocious gaggle of children froze like statues at Blondie's signal.  Blondie scanned the woods with a sniper's critical eye and whispered to the only other adult in the group..."Yagas... Bernie keep them here."  Nurse Bernadette nodded in silence.  She'd keep The Lulus here for five minutes and then fall back to the rally point.  In these haunted woods rally points were frequently noted and she'd likely run into Mimi the Radio on that interval.  If Blondie wasn't back in five they'd need some help.

Trusting the Lulus to "Mad" Nurse Bernadette Blondie ghosted forward.  In spite of the pink Minnie Mouse ears that she referred to as "Neko Mimi"  and the loud colors that she wore to cheer up the Lulus, Blondie practically vanished from sight when on the hunt.  It was one of the tricks that she was teaching the Lulus, and one that they derived endless pleasure from, Bernadette put a rubber gloved finger to her lips, stifling the collective gasp of amazement that Blondie's vanishing act was certain to provoke, then chopped her hand quickly downward.  The Lulus performed their own vanishing act.  It wasn't as instantaneous or dramatic as the one their mentor was famed for... but it was fast, quiet and thorough.  Fifteen seconds later the only person visible to the casual glance was Nurse Bernadette.  She was sitting on a fallen tree as the focus and bait to complete the Lulus' camouflage... this was the sort of thing that had earned her the title "Mad" and the very sort of thing madness that was required to earn the trust Blondie placed in her.  The Lulus would be safe until Blondie returned or Bernadette wouldn't have to worry about answering for it.

Some of the other Jailbirds whispered that Blondie was a Psyker with a chameleon ability.  The Jailbirds had no real psykers of their own and the idea that Blondie might be augmenting her famous skills with some witchcraft was quietly popular among the outcast Jailbirds.  Fortunately for the Jailbirds the gossip held a grain of truth.  Blondie had mad skills... really good trade-craft... and she was a null.  Being a null made her odd and off putting.  She didn't mix with the unit she supported other than with the Lulus and Bernadette.  She just felt wrong.  Most people chalked that feeling up to the immense body count that the notorious "One-Shot Blondie" had racked up.  No one was that efficient a killer without paying a price.  The upside to being a null was that real psykers could not sense her.  She was invisible to Witch Sight, and many psykers relied almost exclusively on Witch Sight in the field, while conversely Blondie could 'feel' the presence of psykers herself.  She'd honed this ability over time and could track her prey with precision.

Stalking her prey Blondie moved silently, but at speed, fixing on her targets.  "Yeah" she thought "targets..."  One Yaga was bad... two was a nightmare...  and these two felt familiar.  Yagas were the Kurganova house psykers.  They tended to manifest elemental powers within the family.  Earth, Air, Fire, Water.  The current slate was full with four masters led by the immortal Baba Yaga who could use any elemental power and aslo manifested Death Magic.  If core Yagas were here, instead of lesser 'trash' witches, Blondie needed to know it.

Coming to a halt she saw a unit of Kurganova Storm Troopers setting up tents for the night.  Through her scope she searched the camp for sign of the Yagas.  It didn't take long to find them.

"They are close!"  shouted Shashenka, punctuating her ire with a burst of flame that seemingly leapt from her yellow eyes.  Shasenka was the famously hot tempered, Pure Blood, Kurganova Household Firestarter... a psyker and Master of Flame.
"...and they will still be close in the morning sister." came the measured, icy, response of Tarja the Water Witch. Tarja was the elder sister and was tired of Shashenka's displays.  "We will rest tonight... we will rest here... and we will rest now." she hissed then spun on her heel and stalked toward her tent.

One-Shot Blondie sat completely motionless.  She decided that taking down Tarja would be the best option.  Shashenka was impulsive and would descend into a blind rage and pursue Blondie...  allowing  Blondie to kill her in short order.  Having determined a course of action Blondie lined up a shot on the Water Witch... then the Howling began...

Blondie froze... as did everyone in the Kurganova camp... That was a hunting howl...  one of the Kurganova Werewolves was on the hunt... three more howls voiced together... shit!  it was a pack!

Blondie moved with fluid grace and trained speed.  The hunting pack would keep the Yagas contained for the night but the Lulus were the likely target of the pack.  Blondie would make sure that the wolves had other things to worry about and trust Bernie to find Mimi and call in the cavalry.

It was gonna be a long night.