Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Strange Aeons: Swimming Fishman


Ok, first attempt at the swimming fishman for Strange Aeons is passable but really shows what rendering water in resin does for you when you try and fool the eye. By cutting up the Bones Tiik warrior and gluing it to blister plastic the size of an average base, I thought the illusion would be made with clear latex caulk... and it does look cool. The problem is all of my water features are deep tinted resin so the illusion of a swimming Deep One is sorta ruined as the eye sees below the surface and there isn't anything there. The effect will look fine on darkly painted water features that have no depth to them, like paint and polyurethane covered board.



That said, I was happy with the improv of putting caulk into a small medical syringe to aid laying down small ropes. It took more than a day to dry but overall it is an effect I'll develop more.

The real issue in this was the water based polyurethane I used on the painted fishman itself. I wanted a deep wet look on him and when I applied the polyurethane, ANY backbrushing tore the paintlayers right from the figure, leaving just the spray primer. So I imperfectly re-covered a few layers of paint and just moved on.

I'll be heading back to this idea of sculpting waves and swimming, as I add some more fishmen to the mix.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Strange Aeons/Pre-Paint Repaint: "Puma shirt... panther shirt. Puma shirt? Panther shirt."



Alright, here's another cheap pre-paint repaint of a... well, I don't really know what the hell this is supposed to be. The base said, "undead panther" but it really looks like a bobcat or baby bear or something. No idea how a panther becomes undead. Guess I should look for undead koalas, narwhals, pigeons and sloths.



But this thing looks undead enough (and small enough) as a counts-as Swarm for Strange Aeons and cost 2 bucks so I took it home, cleaned up mold lines, primed it, rebased it and repainted it in about 20 minutes. Nothing fancy. Just an undead panther-thing. No big deal.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Strange Aeons: Fishman



Here's a $3.00 model that sorta puts minis twice as expensive to shame. I'm using a Reaper Bones Tiik Warrior as a Fishman for Strange Aeons. Fun to paint, looks good and scary... what's not to like?

He originally had that latern-thingy on his head and I rather liked that as a detail but I wanted to keep this jerk closer to the Innsmouth look than farther from it. As it was, I added more color than I had planned but glad I did in the end.

I based it in black, with layers of Sage Greens over greys with a purple/brown wash to pull detail out of the scales after layers. Color accents on arms and legs are scrubbed in with a short brush and some aqua, ice blue and GW green layers adorn the claws, horns and snarly bits. Most of the purples go up to pink which is why I did the eyes pink and rheumy.

Don't touch my Daaarrrrt




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Forge World: Mechanicum Myrmidon Secutor = Enginseer




So, I bought the 7th BRB and the new IG codex (Astra Militarum). I stripped a ton of Valhalla IG models over the last 2 weeks, readying them for paint.


I also ordered some Forge World, the first in probably 10 years I think. I converted the Adeptus Mechanicus Myrmidon Secutor  a bit, relocating his axe arms into a higher position on his frame and holding the large power axe upright. It looks cooler, is more sturdy and less likely to get hung up on other models. I also mag-mounted the arms and weapons… he’s my new Enginseer, as pictured above. Yeah, I see some flash I still have to manage on his power axe... damn it.

So, off to the paint line for some coatings to protect his vital systems from the miasma of war in the dark future of 40k.

Here's hoping he lives long enough to repair something.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Star Wars X Wing Miniatures: TIE Phantom First Build

A cloaked TIE Phantom right out of the box.
I picked up my first ship of Wave 4, opting for the most interesting (Cloaking mechanic) vs the coolest looking (Headhunter or TIE Defender). The E Wing is really nice, according to her girlfriends, and has a great personality. She's also sitting home alone on Friday nights, watching The Middle with her Mom and little brother. Well, in my mind anyway.

Let's just start off with how I'm probably running this ship my first few games. The Phantom comes with a Cloak Action and Decloak. Notice that Decloak is NOT an Action. When you use a Cloak Action it gives you a Cloak Token, which goes on the ship and is not removed at the end of the turn. It remains until you spend it to Decloak. Cloaked ships add 2 Defense dice, bringing the base Phantom up to 4 Defense while cloaked. You can't attack while cloaked but that is made up for with base 4 Attack dice. Like the other Small ships that can take Crew (HWK) it can take 1 Crew. Upon decloaking before you reveal your dial, you take a 2 Straight or 2 Barrel Roll (also not an Action). It's easy to imagine that this is the ship not reappearing exactly where the enemy expects. This sets up some interesting ambush or dogging tactics. The dial is workable, it feels like it is cruising at 2 and 3 and has a sprint of straight 4. You are shedding Stress with a complete set of 2 moves, all Green, which I like. She has a red 3 and 4 Kiogran which I was surprised by too.

It comes boxed with 2 Modifications specifically intended for the Phantom, though only one is named Phantom-only. These make sense on the Sigma and Shadow pilots below without other upgrades. But I left these alone for now... Stealh Device was calling my name.
Some neat ability and options are on these cards. Being the compulsive shopper I am, I opted for psychological warfare instead of hitting power and doubled-down on the Cloaking ability. To do that I needed an Elite Pilot Skill and so, Echo.

That's 36 points... a tad pricy but probably frustrating to fight. I hope.
 I took the named pilot, "Echo" along with Stealth Device to give him 3 Defense dice uncloaked and 5 Cloaked. Push the Limit allows for an Evade or Focus to pad out a Cloak ability or Evade and Focus while cloaked. Echo's ability to use the 2 Turn templates instead of a 2 Straight upon decloaking is ok but I really took Echo for PTL via Elite Pilot Skill. You are looking at 36 points for everything you see here. Interesting, no?

If I were rolling this ship build against a Rebel Transport or Tantive list I'd probably opt to add Recon Specialist to help with Focus, which makes defense more annoying or shooting better when decloaking. 39 points is A LOT for a Small ship but again, a few hundred points of a large game can soak the gimmick up easily.

Look, 5 Defense dice is nothing to sneeze at, inconsistent as that may be. Decloaking behind some Rebel ship and throwing 5 Attack dice at Range 1 on an Ambush is pretty damn fine as well. To follow an old paint-makers saying, "you can make it nice but can you make it twice?" I don't know yet. It may be that the build above doesn't do much after you unzip your fly and take a shot. I guess it comes down to how much of the game you want to spend cloaked to begin with. For now, I like the odds it has to close against Rebel turrets and not bleed-out en route to Range1 or going stealth as the lines cross, head-on.  PTL is awesome on almost everything but if I find it's possibly overkill for the role this ship trends towards then I'll gladly take Determination.

I gotta say, I think the Cloak action is pretty elegant as a mechanic and it will be interesting to see if anything else ends up with it. While not FFG-legal I will definitely be removing the ship from the base when Cloaked for the visual gag during friendly games. Becuase why not.

The above is not a deep analysis of what you can do with the Phantom, more like a first blush response. I've found that my dream builds of newly released ships usually equates to going to the gym and just working the vanity muscles. Looks good in a pic but living it may be very different than anticipated when there is heavy lifting to be done on the job.

Well, I'm off to my sister's this weekend where I will face my Rebel-Scum-in-Law Mike. I'll share out how the Phantom worked in a (ulp) 100 point list.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Star Wars X Wing: Shout Out to Fantasy Flight Customer Service

Hey! Eyes up here and off my female peg!


This update is overdue. I bought an X Wing expansion a bit ago to pad out my army lists for the bigger format games these days, thanks to the largemungus Rebel Transport and Tantive box sets that were released.

When I opened the blister I noticed that the "female" peg that was seated and glued into the X Wing model itself wasn't seated all the way in before it was glued at the factory. I didn't think it'd break. It did, right after I put a flight peg into it. Bummer.

Let the record show that I own multiples of every expansion except for the new large ships and Wave 4 so I had not seen this before in X Wing Miniatures, nor any other FFG game I own. I didn't really worry as I pushed the stirring pangs of buyer's remorse back into their dysfunctional drab corners of my mind... but they did stir. 

I used FFG's Replacement Parts section on their Customer Service pages and told them the deal, sent them a pic. I only asked for another female peg as replacement since I could easily remove the broken one and replace with the new. Interface was easy and a message back landed within a day. They'd replace "it".

A brand new X Wing showed up at my door about a week or so later. They probably had to handle it that way since they probably didn't have access to sending out just a single peg but I was really happy with the service.

Well done FFG and thanks!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Super Dungeon Explore: Ember Mage


Just a few fast pics of a fast paintjob on Ember Mage. I finished her (for now) awhile ago, just never posted until now. Since my son and I share a birthday on June 21st and we both love SDE, I have some big buys in store for presents and so, more SDE up on these pages some point soon.