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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dark Souls minor enemies and Star Saga Plague

 This wrap up the trash mobs and lesser minions for Dark Souls the Board Game core set.  There still remain 4 Bosses, 1 mini boss, and 2 elites.

Shown with the PC Assassin for scale and to show the difference between the "Good Guy" and "Bad Guy" bases.

The Archers and Knights are the trash mobs for the second half of the basic game and are taller than the PC models and the undead style minions that were the adversaries in the first half of the core game.
 These are done in a brassy style and I think of them as "constructs" or animated armor type opponents.

The biggest complaint I have about these models is the lack of variety.  Each type of adversary has a single model that is replicated to get the required number of adversaries.  This makes the enemy easy to identify but has a very "board gamey" feel.  Options to add additional miniatures, when available, are usually just more copies of the same single pose.

 In future I will probably not be as excited to get involved with Kickstarter projects that emphasize the figures as a selling point but fail to provide more than one pose for large numbers of models... especially since a lot of the actual games are not great games but are selling miniatures to  paint and use for other purposes/games/proxies.

The undead minions are similar in size to the PCs.  Each section has two types of adversary... a missile troop (archer/crossbow) and a melee troop (sword and shield)  Each type also has one elite unit (I haven't finished the construct one yet) which is a large melee type.

 The restless dead.

3 sword and shield
3 Crossbow
2 elite axe

The Assassin faces off against a big undead Axe wielder.

Star Saga!

I like Star Saga,  Its a bit quirky but covers a lot of ground.

I'm still sketchy on the details of the Plague but in the core game they appear to be humans intentionally subjected to the plague in an attempt to weaponize it.  This seem to have gone predictably wrong....

I've painted some temporary bases until I decide what to do with the minis in the long term... but they came out well enough that I may just use this theme with the rest of the box set and leave the minis with the actual game instead of cannibalizing them for Deadzone/Warpath! novel!

I went with prisoner basic orange with bits of diagnostics gear and control items attached.

For fun I decided to go with green-ish hair and glowing green, monochrome, eyes.  Kind of like teeny, tiny hulk!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Undertown Vending Machines

 Things go better with ZOLT!

These vending machines are from the Undertown KS from Atenociti's Workshop.

They were clean cast, as always, and came with great photo-graphics. These are a joy to paint.
 Since these are part of The Undertown they got a fair bit of weathering to represent decrepit hardware plastered with much more recent advertising. 

The two I had the most success with are the yellow and blue.  Each was sprayed with a gloss base coat and it really made the difference in the final finish.  after all the weathering and a satin top coat they had the most convincing "old drink machine" finish.
There are also a pair of "Information Vendors" basically neighborhood directories... pretty handy for densely populated zones with hit or miss infrastructure.  These are weathered as well with the info screens being a bit hazy while the adverts are in much better shape.

The model for scale is a Void Elf Hunter from Raging Heroes TGG2 KS.  I really like these models and the remaining 10 of them are in the final state of assembly... hopefully they will make an appearance in the next couple of days.

I'm getting into a big production period with a lot of different projects on the desk.  I want to trend towards fleshing out the Ynnari/Void Elf while also knocking out a several board game sets and getting to work on fantasy civilians, Nomad Jailbirds, and more! 

As always... *think* I know what will show up next... but really... I got no idea!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Void Elf Hunters, Boss Monsters, and Bad Guy Floors

 A bunch of things painted and a lot learned.

We got in our first game of Star Saga.  The game looks like it will play well once we have a few run throughs. 

On the down side: The rules are a bit haphazardly organized and required a lot of looking around to sort out questions.  Some of the examples don't seem to agree with the written rules etc...
 On the plus side:  Its a really ambitious game for the format and allows for a large number of different kinds of action while not adding tons of extra rules.  Its a fun stand alone but looks like it really shines in the campaign mode.

I painted up the Plague Aberration (the far left model in the picture above) mostly just to test the material for paint interactions and didn't spend any time cleaning it up, or washing it, in advance of painting.  It took paint really well and was a lot of fun too! I'm going to have to dig the plague out the Deadzone and Warpath boxes and churn a pile out.  Of course I didn't back the Plague faction very hard... good thing Mantic remains affordable even when not in Kickstarter mode!
 The Titanite Demon from Dark Souls the Board Game.

This is a large model as you can see from the picture of it intimidating the Herald player character...

Also fun to paint using mostly washes and dry-brush... even played with osl a little on it.

The base is a test run of the "Bad Guy Floor" and you can see the Herald on the "Good Guy Floor"
 The massive blue sparky Horns are a mix of dry brush and wash as will as some top layer stippling.

The main body is a heavy Sunny Flesh drybrush over the Khaki base coat then a coupl of washes of P3 flesh.  The P3 flesh is a purplish shader which I'll use a lot for the undead and malefic flesh tones. 

 The Aberration was, again, dry brush Sunny Skin Tone over the Khaki base coat and then wash with Secret Weapon Ruby for the softer areas and Army Sepia ink thinned with Vallejo Glaze Medium for the bony bits.

The skin was brushed back up with a thin Brains Pink and the carapace with Graveyard Earth and Splintered Bone (Reaper)

The eye glow is old Scaly Green (Citadel) which is at least two generations of GW paints old... its a great paint for lenses as well... I'm gonna miss that when its gone!
 The Aberration with Canoness Veridyan.  The Star Saga version came sans base so it loses a little height in comparison.. the good news is it doesn't force me to come up with a basing scheme yet!

As much as I like doing scenic bases I've been thinking about going with clear bases for the Mantic family of games.  Mostly its just so I don't have to look at trench warfare bases on a map representing a star-ship or a high tech base in a jungle... its just a thought at the moment and might be already sabotaged by Mantic's habit of including integrated bases on their minis... which would have to be removed to replace them with clear bases... 

 Void Elves!

These are beautiful kits from Raging Heroes which I want to use as Ynnari faction Eldar.. kind of Elfy Death Cultists... Bone Brown is the new Black and tiel and blue fancy bits because... elfs!  I mean... even a morbid death fixated elf has to have some style!

I use the giant pony tails as unit colors so I can keep the models organized on the tabletop.  Blue, red, green,,, etc... this first squad is blue.

I'm really excited about these models for a couple of reasons but the main one is the sharpness of the detail.
 Raging Heroes has always made really beautiful models with great designs and a lot of character but for many years the details were soft edged.  The soft edge meant that speed painting techniques, and dry-brush in particular, were harder to use, required more touch up and a steadier hand.  Lines that could be made to pop by dragging a dry brush across them had to be painted manually if you wanted that very fine sharp line.  Basically you had to be a better painter to make an RH model look good than you had to be to make a GW (or similar)  model look good... and it just took longer.

 The Void Elf Hunters have very crisp details and painted up really rapidly! I have two more squads of them to paint and I'm assembling them now.  I'm hoping this is a trend throughout the TGG model line as it will really help at the "I'm generating a cool looking army here not painting a masterpiece for a contest " level. 

Veridyan and the Hunter... Veridyan is on a 32mm base so I really ought to dig a GW model out that is on a 25mm round to use for these size comparisons... I'll eventually unpack one!
 Veridyan the Aberration and the Hunter.

The main lesson from this week... if I'm gonna bother to paint it I really ought to clean it up! Even models from board games! I ended up liking these models and thinking about using them beyond the occasional session of the game they came with...

The Aberration is a great model and, though it took the paint well, it has some really prominent mould lines. 

Similarly the Titanite Demon would make a great proxy model and has some casting lines and the joins (the model comes pre-assembled) are not obscured and could have used a spot of the green stuff.

Final thought...

The Hunters! front and back... these helmets are so awesome... they remind me of Predator... which is, of course, a great theme for the "Hunters"

Back to building and painting...

Friday, January 5, 2018

Void Elf Hunters WiP and Dark Souls the Board Game WiP

Happy New Year!

I'm looking forward to working on loads of new projects this year and I hope you are too!

First up, from Dark Souls the Board Game we have the assembled cast of Player Characters.

The players can select The Knight, The Warrior, The Herald, or The Assassin.                               The sculpts themselves are technically good although none of them really excited me.         Part of that might be that there are only four of them and, except for The Assassin, they are all very similar in appearance.

I thought it was an odd composition to have a warrior and a knight but no pure caster... but its true to the video game.

I elected to go with a cool color mix for the player group and decided on the color scheme for the "Good Guy Floor"

The floor was painted as a large square patter of blue and rust.

The blue quarters were painted Deep Sky Blue, washed with Secret weapon Sapphire, stippled with Sky Blue and re-stippled with pure white.                                                           
 The rust quarters were the base Krylon bronze primer paint combo brush spattered with Secret Weapon Copper Fitting, and dry brushed with Gamescience Rustungs Farbe.
The Bosses, Mini-Bosses, and Elites of what I think of as the "constructs" group are coming along in their Red and Brass kind of way although the guy with the big bell-hammer is looking a little seasonal  >.> 

There is also the "Fleshy and Decayed" group and they are making progress as well.  They still have a lot of red but will replace most of the brass with bone whites.

 For the "big trash and little trash" group I started down a rotten road with purplish fleshy bits... this might be tricky given the low contrast with the red clothing bits so I'll have to work on bringing up the separation a bit.  Rotten greens might have been a better choice... certainly an easier one... but I was feeling that I wanted the trash group to be a little less green, red, and brass to underscore the difference between them and the more elite types.

The Void Elves are making progress.  The first group was primed with the Krylon Khaki Camouflage paint and dry-brushed white.  The pain seems to be adhering well and I'm hoping this is a quick and viable Ynnari theme... I can even retain the Void Elf nomenclature for the Ynnari faction.  I've got two more groups of five of these being constructed.

Finally the first mini getting prepped for Mantic's Star Saga!

Star Saga looks like it falls into the Action RPG light category more than into the Dungeon crawler boardgame category.  Lots of detail and fiddly bits. Templates, multiple action lots of character descriptions.  If it had a character creation system it would be on its way to being an actual RPG... I might have to work on that...  The Warpath Universe is looking pretty interesting these days and the first novel I read in the setting didn't disappoint.

We are looking forward to knocking out our first game of it this week.

Back to the brushes!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tabletop World Cottage 2 completed and Dark Souls the Board Game WiP

Tabletop World made a much needed addition to their line with the Small Cottage 2.   Their town houses, inns, shops walls, gates, and mansions are mostly mid size to very large structures so its nice to get a companion to the Cottage 1 model.

Here you see my terribly messy and cramped work space.  I tend to do this even when I have whole rooms available.  Eventually we'll settle down and I'll build some paint racks to help with the access and clutter... buts thats for another time!

The Cottage 2 differs from the rest of the TTW catalogue in that it appears to have a slate roof instead of the usual wood shingle.  At any rate it was my first go at doing slate and I learned a lot.  the colors are fun but came out a bit too regular.  Next time I'll do more partial tiles and work more on making the color boundaries irregular.

I was happy with the moss effects which liven up the walls.  I've also tried a new way to do the stones which really sped up the process and looked a little better to boot! Basically I did the wood first and expanded some of the wood dry-brush step to cover the stone, most heavily near the wood,then washed back with a stone color which gave more color depth and better cover to the recess. then brushed up the stone to give good definition to the wood sections .

Even though the approach was different I wanted to stick with the Greystone Village theme instead of branching out into other colors of stone. I may do some other stone colors in future for buildings that aim to stand out from the bulk of the village.

For the interior I replaced the Spice Brown base layer of the wall color with Sandstone.  The walls ended up being less warm, color wise, and help with the idea that these are lower end dwellings.  I did a bit of sooting around the fireplaces and some progressive water damage in the floors.
 Then, in a terrible "squirrel!" moment I decided to paint up the Dark Souls the Board Game...

I wanted to experiment with using different primer types to speed up the process and ended up with three primer colors.

I used Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Paint+Primer Metallic Aged Copper for most of the adversaries.  This was the worst one of the set and remained tacky until I washed it with Secret Weapon Flesh.  Seems to be OK now but time will tell.
 The Player Character models got Rust-oleum Universal Forged Hammered Paint & Primer Antique Pewter.  This did really well and the hammered effect might be interesting on larger models. Dried OK and took washes well.

I used Krylon Ultra-Flat Camouflage Khaki paint, which is designed for rugged use without primer, for the adversaries that were more "fleshy" or had little armor.  I use this series a lot and it behaved as it always does.
 These are board game pieces and I decided to do a "Good Guy" colored checker on the bases of the PC models and a "Bad Guy" colored checker on the bases of adversaries. The actual colors are TBD!

Here you see the Aged Copper after the flesh wash.  The guy with the GINORMOUS bell/hammer is the mini that actually hooked me into getting the game.

 On the game itself.... meh...

Its very, very, very grindy... much like the video game its based on.  That would be OK except that you end up grinding over the same three tiles against the same adversaries that start in the same spots... the only difference being that the loot chest, if any, is only lootable once.  The tiles are changed for a different three tiles at the halfway point and the grind continues.

So... the minis maaaaay end up getting re-purposed into a cool warband for one of our skirmish games!

And, finally, Three troops of Void Elf Hunters from Raging Heroes are under construction.  I'll  use these as Dark Eldar Kabalite Trueborn.  Since they have a really cool helmet I'm thinking they will form the core of my nascent Ynnari force.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mistress Slithiss SF and Fantasy

 Mistress Slithiss, Lust Elf Excruciatrix..

These models are the Sci-Fi and Fantasy versions of Mistress Slithiss.  They are visually related but they get to their floating, multi-limbed, incarnation of exquisite pain by different roads.

The models actually have no shared components which is kinda awesome!
 Both float above the battlefield and both sport numerous limbs but the Fantasy version has organic, clawed, tentacles while the Sci-Fi version is all metal and warped technology.

Here are some scenes with Shiveryah, Void Elf Sorceress Sci-Fi version.  Void elves are, more or less, straight up Dark Elves in space.. ie. Dark Eldar.... shhhh!

The Sci-Fi version of Slithiss could also be serviceable as a Dark Eldar Haemonculous or as an ADMech Techpriest.
 I'm really pumped up about the fantasy version because, in addition to being a great sculpt, its less of a proxy type figure than we usually see from Raging Heroes.  The whole Lust Elf line can be used as proxies for Slaanesh of course but I like the backstory of "The Burned Ones" and Chaos Elves have always occupied a rare, terrifying, place on the fringes of fantasy.
 The models are complex, each having eight parts... maybe more... oops! And the parts interact in a complex way. Since these are game pieces I took advantage of this interaction to add a few additional glue points to make the models a little more sturdy.

I went with a 20mm square base here because my Fantasy armies, RPG figures, and a lot of my terrain collection, particularly the huge pile of Tabletop World buildings, are scaled for this size base.  If I was new in the hobby I'd go with the larger circular bases just because they give more room for modelling but, with almost 40 years of work using 20mm bases for human size models I'll stick to them where I can.

 Because these were two versions of the same character I went with a similar color scheme on each. I'll use the Lust Elves as a Chaos warband although the SF versions (most of the Lust Elves do not have separate Fantasy and Sci-Fi version) may spend some time as "advisors" to my Void Elves... er Dark Eldar!

Most of my play these days is narrative and I use home brew rules for all the RH factions in a 40K splinter setting.  I'm also looking forward to the games and setting that RH is working on. While their core business is proxies they have done a lot of work creating interesting backgrounds for their models and I'm looking forward to exploring that.
 Initially I thought I'd go with a darker skin tone... kind of along the lines of the Slaanesh Daemonettes.. a purple/gray malevolent flesh look, but I had trouble with getting a purple based monochrome look that I liked at tabletop viewing range (ie. 3ft) so I lightened up the skin to get some contrast.  The addition of color coded wiring to the SF version makes it more fun to look at on the tabletop as well.
 Some WiP Cottage #2 from Tabletop World have got into the pictures.  I'm making a couple of changes to by basic procedure on these buildings, mostly some subsurface dry-brush and reversing the order of painting between the stone and wood, and it looks like it improves speed a good bit... I'm not sure the reversal works as well for the interior but I'll know soon.

As these are a wee bit on the run down side I might have another experiment in static grass... maybe!

 Next in line are the cottages, a shipping container, and some Undertown scatter while I start assembling the Void Elf Hunter squads.

The Hunter squads have a lot of fine parts so I'm curious to see how easily I can get them off the sprue...
That is a lot of limbs!