DEPARTMENTS

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Interesting Thrift Store Finds

A few weeks back I was shopping for a couple of items for the new dog and stumbled across these decorative, "inspirational" bowls. I immediately thought that these shapes were useful. As a gamer, modeler and scratch builder I always like to snag these sorts of things when I find them because they tend to not be there on a return visit. So, I put aside a couple of other, more frequently available hobby supplies and bought these instead.


So, what do I plan to do with them? I am not exactly sure. They would be a bit awkward looking as a boat hull as they are equally rounded at either end. I suppose they could be made into some sort of oddball vessel. Flipped upside down they take on many more possibilities. 

Upside down, i see potential for everything from a VSF landship to the protruding hull of a submarine. This could also make a nice platform to build some MaK/SF3D styled vehicles. The flat bottom becomes a nice mounting point for all manner of doodads. It would be a bit cramped for a deck in 28mm, but 15mm would have some tight space to move and that works as many smaller boats are not all that user friendly.


I have yet to decide on any specific projects for them, but I am always looking for something new and these just seemed like they could be useful.

-Eli

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Kickstarter Alert - Stars of Empire

This looks interesting. I am not in a position to back the project at this time but it seems worth mention and I thought I would spread the word. 

I must admit that I am intrigued by the concept of "hard scifi Victorian science fiction".

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Clearing the Board

As I get back into the swing of regular sculpting, the first order of business is to clear out stuff that has been languishing unfinished. To this end I have pulled out the trusty white board and listed out the various projects that have commercial viability.

Most of these are for LNG with a few obligations to 15mm.co.uk's SHM range also up there. Some have been in the most early of stages while others, as the numbers will show, have been sitting half completed or more for ages.

Why? Best not to ask.

The good news is that it is working. The gaps on the white board are where projects were once listed, meaning I have managed to clear a few. I will not be adding more projects to the list until these are all finished. This does not mean I am not sculpting on other things, but that I am not adding them to the official queue until I have cleared my desk of lingering projects.

Yay progress!

-Eli

Marine Tactical Unit - 15mm Scale Miniatures

Painted pics from White Dragon Miniatures new Kickstarter 



Mark Stone of White Dragon Miniatures posted this pic of a painted version of one of his Marine Tactical Unit infantry alongside the massive, amazing Proteus Frontline Battle Mech. The render images of these were incredible enough, but this superbly painted example of the machine really shows it as the business.


This mecha, along with the MTU troops and their support Armadillo Support bot are part of a run away Kickstarter that promises some delightful stretch goals including an alternate Proteus with a railgun.


For more information or to join in on this awesome Kickstarter, head over - HERE.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sculpting the Wasteland

Sculpting has become a real pastime for me and a way for me to share my creativity with others through the production of those things that I sculpt. Well before there was all the hype of Mad Max: Fury Road, ti had embarked on a project to sculpt a wasted future the likeso f which I used to play in back in my Gamma World days. 

Looking around the industry I found a lot of monsters, aliens, and some mutants but nothing that really formed a dedicated range of blasted futuristic figures. I started with two sets of mutants depicting several characters that could populate the post-apocalypse. 

Really weird mutants/cyborgs

More humanoid mutants, including a masked wasteland shaman


Once the mutants were done, I started on a set of scruffy, ultra-violence raiders/gangers. These are real Road Warrior sorts, with mohawks, masks, shoulder pads and improvised weapons. So far, this has produced 9 different ganger sculpts that are waiting their turn to go into production.


In addition to human and mutant denizens, I also decided that there was call for some mutated undead. So, I made rad zombies. These zombies are dripping, oozing, shambling bags of mutated yuck. They are unlike any sort of zombie miniatures I have seen to date in that they are all depicted extreme levels of decay with exposed bones, lots of hanging flesh and hollowed body cavities. 


The latest bits to reach completion are four heroes of the wasteland that I have called Road Wardens. This name was chosen as a not to the Road Warrior who inspired them but also to peg them in their roles as heroic types. I am sure players will use them for all manner of characters - heroes and villains alike, but the role of hero was used for creative direction when designing the miniatures.





Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Board Gaming Fun - Fortune and Glory


Let me see. You want me to play a game where our heroes trot across the globe searching for treasures while all the while dodging Nazis, the Mob, and other perils on a mission to stop global domination?

Hell Yeah!

Fortune and Glory is a new game from local (Seattle area) guys Flying Frog. Themed in the age of pulp adventure, this game strays from the usual formula of heroes going through a single adventure and instead approaches the genre from a much more global (literally) perspective.

Each player controls a single hero and works with other players to bounce back and forth across the globe to take on various adventures at different locations. Each adventure is a short form arranged as a series of tests made to determine success or failure. There are some cool mechanics in the game that add an element of gambling as you are allowed to push your luck and skills to complete an adventure before it gets snatched out from under your by the game's NPC nemesis. The consequences of pushing your limits can result in you losing out on the potential glory that a completed adventure can win you.The mechanics are pretty simple utilizing stats, equipment, character traits and followers to score successes.

All the time the heroes are chasing treasures, so too are the Nazis and mobsters and these villains turn up at all the wrong places all of the time. As if that weren't bad enough, they are gallivanting around in their Zepplin base deploying willy nilly and continuously cluttering the board with more and more of their villainy, making it increasingly difficult to partake in the simple joy of dodging ancient evil, traps and denizens for the sake of...you guessed it...Fortune and Glory!

I very much enjoyed this game. It is no secret that I am a fan of the Pulp genre and this board game did not leave me hanging unless it was off the proverbial cliff. The cooperative play aspect is appealing though I understand it can be played with the added complication of a traitor. With plenty of characters to play and a never-ending variety of combinations of epithet and location (how adventures are generated) it promises to never get boring.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First Go At Armada

Let The Wookiee Win


Yesterday I had a chance to try out the new Star Wars Armada game. I have missed out on most of the "clicky" miniatures games but the subject of this one was too cool to not try. I have always wanted to play fleet battles in the Star Wars universe. While this is not the first game to be made for this or the only to have done it all along, it is the first one that I have heard my local gamers get excited about.

My opponent, who has a few games under his belt, let me choose Empire or Rebel, I decided to go with a Victory star destroyer and several squads of TIE Fighters. Before we played, he gave me a run down on the rules and explained all the components and indulged my questions about how the theme of the universe and the ships being portrayed had been translated into rules.

I think it is worth noting that, as a Star Wars fan, I am mostly satisfied with the rules interpretations of the universe and the ships so far. It is a big deal that the ships in the game are able, within the rules, to perform as expected from the fiction. X-wings fight like X-wings and TIEs like TIEs. 



The fight itself was a pretty straight forward head to head. Two small Rebel ships and X-wings versus my own Victory and TIEs. The learning curve was minimal. The game is so well put together with everything clearly laid out and with everything having its own piece when it needs to. Orders, stats, even measuring are optimized (the movement tool is inspired). 































What this meant is that in no time I was barreling forward with my star destroyer, making a few course corrections and maneuvering my fighters around to harass the Rebel ships and engage their fighters. Combat is neat and clean and I never found myself at a loss for figuring out where I stood. 

There were a few points that took some getting used to but these mostly centered around the range bands and the special dice for these bands as well as getting used to plotting command in advance and working through those. I don't think I made enough use of the ability to hold orders for a later time but I also do not feel I had too many situations come up in this learning game where this was needed.


By the end of the game I was a convert. I had won, but just barely and only technically speaking. The game ran out of turns with me in a leading position but it was clear that my capital ship was a wreck and the two fresh fighter squadrons would be able to finish me with their next round of bombing runs.

Now I just bide my time and let the inventory of available models flesh out a bit before diving in. I know my budget for this game will be limited, even if the components are pretty reasonably priced, and I do not want to make an early purchase that I will regret when something new comes out. A little patience never hurts and I doubt my frugal hesitation will hurt the prospects of this game with its juggernaut appeal.

Take care,

-Eli


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