Wednesday, November 25, 2015

40K: Eversor Conversion

Here's an Eversor I painted last Saturday, for bringing to The Burning Stars league with my club, PAGE.

Not much to say really. Chopped the model in half, hunched him over more and resculpted the join. Garnished with pouches and grenades from various kits. Added a Warhammer Fantasy bit as the shoulder pad, I think, not sure the source. It married well with his chest rig/vox deal he has going on. The arms are from Catachan plastic kits and the open hand is a GW zombie hand. The Neuro Gauntlet is a paw from an old Necron Flayed one. I added a pommel/hilt for the sheathed sword too since the pack with the stowed gun I used here was for the Eversor model who has his sword in hand and had the stowed sword missing.

Painted it up for the Bio Meltdown and here is is, The Ghoul of Hammerfall, exploding in a league game near you (hopefully not while in my own lines.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bushido: Batrep and Pics from the Seigyo Scenario

Here are pics from our latest Bushido game, the scenario called Seigyo, page 12 of the Bushido Tournament pack.

We ran 35 rice each, Pete bringing his awesome Silvermoon and I, Ito. Note that I ran 2 Temple Bushi and used my Chiyo model as one of them (though having Chiyo's Leap would have been great.)

This mission had 3 neutral idols mid field and required simple actions to worship them and take control of them. Enemy-aligned idols could be worshiped to be neutralized, then worshiped again to take control. Players with most friendly idols got 1VP at the ends of turns 2, 4 and 6. The game ends on turn 6. We were tied for VP's until turn 6.

Scenario set up
Ito Left and Silvermoon, Right
Both factions close rapidly to secure Idols before the end of turn two. It seemed like many of Pete's Silvermoon Roses were incredibly hard to target and engage as they had an ability to blend in as civilians and not be noticed. Silvermoon kept trying to seduce my Ito but by pure luck I resisted their charms most of the game.
Temple Bushi runs to the bamboo trees and eyes the lone Silvermoon Rose praying at the idol, which slowly turns towards their favor.
Itsunagi stands atop the koi pond as Senpu charges in. Itsunagi channels his Ki and uses Cobra Strike for Lightning Reflexes to kill Senpu first, tiring him from the combat but leaving him fairly unopposed.
View from the Ito line
Akimoto crosses the midfield to tempt an attack from the hiding Silvermoon as a Temple Bushi and Sakura control the middle idol. Itsunagi dispatches the petulant child Sukoshi Kani who threw down a makibishi in front of the idol, while the Temple Bushi moves to engage one of the Roses. Again the Rose Tsubaki tries Seduction but it did not work.
The Temple Bushi interrogates the Rose to no avail. Itsunagi isn't buying it but defends the idol as the sun sets in the sky...
Now the bodies are hitting the ground as the game leans into the last turn, still tied on VP's. A Temple Bushi is killed at the middle Idol and Sakura becomes Stupid. The solo Rose moves towards the middle Ito idol to make an end-game run at it. The lone Bushi tries to block the Rose near Itsunagi.
Silvermoon threaten the middle Idol Sakura and Akimoto defend. Saukra is killed by a Rose who is in turn beheaded on a combo attack by a wrathful Itsunagi, who shores up the middle Idol and controls his breathing as Tsubaki attempts Seduction to no avail.
The final Rose closes in to neutralize the tie breaking Ito idol as Akimoto furiously plays his mystical drum in an attempt to scare her away. A tired Itsunagi rolls his shoulders and scowls at her.
The Temple Bushi lends a hand to wipe out The Rose only after Itsunagi bloodied her. Ito is left standing as a sole survivor but the game is a draw on VP's thanks to the last Rose neutralizing the middle idol in the face of the exhausted Ito!

The take aways with this game are simple and complex. The fixed turns and cost of actions to control the idols means there is a fair amount of nuanced movement, positioning, blocking, foils and activation as much as there is controlled but very violent and conclusive fighting. 

In Bushido it is all about staying rested and making the enemy tire out before you do. Even as games become lopsided from casualties it is not over, as more desperate but more powerful abilities come off the leash as moderation becomes a detriment. Just when you think you have a clear line to charge and slash an opponent good, somebody knicks you from the side, you become tired or exhausted and the window closes. It lends itself to the "whoosh" of a martial arts brawl, not to mention the "betting" mechanic of rolling all attacks and defenses of both players simultaneously. 

Pete is a hell of a player and sportsman. He is teaching me a lot every game so the credit really goes to him for a clean, enjoyable and teachable experience. Bushido really is an exciting and different game. Try it out if you can. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015


May all of your darkness be the blessings of sleeping gods who dream of your fortune. Unless you are in the Threshold. In which case, you get zombies for Halloween. All of them.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bushido: Token Box and Scratch Built Nesting Dual Dice Tray

I built a dual sided dice tray/transport tray and nesting token box for my Bushido stuff. Why? Not sure. Because it was fun? I also want to use "nesting" more. So, thanks.

I started with a bare wood jewelry box I bought at Michael's crafts here in the states, for US$7.00. I stained it and added foam from an old Chessex caddy, to hold my tokens, dice and marker.

The dice tray/caddy sits on top of the box very snugly thanks to the detail trim, all stained to match, so when my warband is embarked in the tray moving between theoretical tables the whole chumpie won't slide off. I used a finishing nailer, wood glue and small gold tacks so it matched the jewelry box clasps.

Note that rolls in Bushido are typically done simultaneously together. Attackers and Defenders allocate a pool of dice towards attacks and defense and roll it all together. This is a cool betting/bluffing element that I enjoy a lot and it helps me to have the rolls together to calculate the outcomes between players.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bushido: Ito Idol/Shrine to Orochi

Since GCT has not made models for their excellent faction deck Terrain elements yet (to my knowledge), I made one myself. I used a BONES fountain and a WoW snake I picked up at the FLGS, Redcap's Corner for about US$5.00 total.

If you know the original models it is clear what I did. I had to carve out the basin so the LED light can show through the resin and I added two pillars on either side of the base to continue the vertical style and also catch some of the glow.

I finished it with the same painting as I used on my scratch-built objective tokens with the moss treatments.

The stream of water is silicone teased out on wax paper and then attached to the mouth using silicone again. The basin is filled with Envirotex resin, untinted. The bases are two parts of a LED tealight that I covered with Apoxy Sculpt and textured by rolling the fresh putty over stone pavement (same for the additional pillars mentioned above.)

You can still twist the LED halves to activate it or if you don't want a glowing fountain, simply remove the bottom and LED underclasp light for a smaller, "normal" fountain.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Star Wars X Wing Miniatures: Ghost Final (Cake Topper)

I have been working on this on-and-off for too long. That's why I have to be done! I worked to make this look like the color palette in the source materials, in the McQuarrie style. This is a complete repaint of the Ghost, not a touch up of the original finish. I added brass barrels on the gun positions which were barely an original detail and I did layers of grime, wear and subtle chipping. There were a few points during the painting where the details on this cake topper decoration just sucked, frankly, and I moved on. Perfect example is the main cockpit bubble.Ugh. I had even filed parts of the canopy to get it to match up across the upper and lower sections. Still, it was a good exercise and my son is thrilled to have a Ghost to use in X Wing as an Outer Rim smuggler, until the FFG Ghost drops. All-in-all, worth it for 8 bucks!

Here's a before shot, followed by final after primer and paints.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bushido: New Board Pics Plus Material/Assembly Notes

While the river board I made previously for Bushido is good for a few scenarios in the Bushido Tournament Scenario Pack, it is not good for every mission, specifically where Zones Control is involved as a mission condition.

So I built a flat Bushido board and took the chance to try out a new feature I have been thinking about, raised wood trim.

Parts List:

1.       One 2’x2’ piece of MDF
2.       Textured wallpaper
3.       Oil based slow-drying primer/sealer
4.       Mod Podge
5.       Cutting implements and tools of destruction
6.       Paints
7.       Flocks
8.       Assorted Paint brushes
9.       Trim (optional but recommended)
 Stain (try water based)

Granted, most of the time spent on this build is drying time. Looking at the parts list you will see a few decisions were made ahead of time. Some explanation is in order.

MDF: Normally I avoid MDF. It can be finicky with glues and paints. It can warp when stored improperly in locations like the average basement; humidity can have its way. That said, the local DIY had them on sale for US$1.88 which is a tremendous deal, so there it is.

Textured Wallpaper: I had a huge stockpile of this stuff from a decade ago when I worked for paint and wallcoverings company (I made the huge batches of paint that trucks delivered to large companies like Amtrak. I also made the house paint for the movie M. Knight Shyamalan movie,
Signs.) This stuff is basically paper with some foam texture embossed onto it. I think it was supposed to look like… well, I have no idea. I only see dirt and rocks. I use this on everything from miniature bases to large terrain projects. It has served me well but it has a fatal flaw. The foam can tear up when gamers drag miniature bases across the features relentlessly, because at it's heart, it's just light foam. I learned this the hard way when a terrain board I had built for a local game store started being stripped of the texture. So I went back to my roots and solved the issue with the right coating as a base, which is up next.

Oil Based Slow-Drying Primer: There is always somebody who is confused about oil primers and acrylic paints. I will get into that if anybody asks in the comments section below. Suffice it to say, it works no problem. The beauty of slow-drying primer is that it penetrates everything (like Carlor) and that means the foam features are soaked to the core by grey primer, which makes it rigid and durable when it dries. If it was not slow-drying it would dry down before it soaked all the way through. I have been in the habit of using this primer on all foam features I build with. It has a modest capillary filling action for the micro features of foam, which is great to seal up foam from spray solvents. But it treats detail very well too. The only issue is clean up, since it is oil based. Buy a good disposable brush (called a chip brush here in the US) and skip the mineral spirit clean up. Just watch for shed bristles drying in the primer from the cheap chip brushes.

Mod Podge: I have also been using this stuff for everything. I used this to glue the wallpaper to the MDF and used it to glue the flock down. Just be sure to use Matte Mod Podge. It really does dry clear and non-shiny.

Stained and "Nude" trim.  This is also my new band name.
Trim: For smaller boards like this one I find they tend to need a few points for presentation. Something that lends a classy finish. So I tend to trim my boards where I can; it isn’t always practical, especially when building out in foam, but it is usually worth it if your board will see lots of handling and God help me, storage on its side. Trimming assumes you know your way around a mitre saw, can make a clean join and you can swing a tack hammer or fire a finishing nail gun. Before you even think about attaching the trim you should lightly sand off the shop finish, burrs, spars and stickers. Then stain with your favorite stain. I work in water based stain so I can avoid clean up with explosive liquids in my basement. Once the trim is dry you’ll have it on hand to make your cuts for the board.

Assembly: Assembly on this is exactly what you'd expect. Mod Podge glue coating over MDF, textured wallpaper on top. Oil based primer, let dry 24 hours. Stain the trim in the meantime; I use water based stain for the easy cleanup, in a Verdigris finish. Once primer is dry, I spray primed with Army Painter colors. Then I got some paint layers on there with acrylic wet brushing and dry brushing to pull out detail. Once the detail was dry I added on some "moss" mix to some exposed stone areas to tie in with the scatter terrain and objectives  I made earlier, which also has moss.

Without Zone Control templates.
With Zone Control templates down.

I used Matte Mod Podge for all the flocking, using a mix of Woodland Scenics static grasses and sponge material for variety. Once dried and brushed to catch loose flock, I used a mite saw to make my cuts in the trim and a bastard rasp to smooth the joints. Note that I kept some stain on hand for touching up the trim after I made my saw cuts and passes with the rasp. Just re-stain the bare wood before you attach the trim with a finishing nailer. That's it.

The raised edges really help placing models and terrain. Trim also helps keep models and dice on the board too. Finally, it matches my token and dice caddy, finished in the same stain. I think the trim is functional and actually adds a nice visual appeal. I am not sure the visual appeal would work for all games of all genres, but in this case I deliberately picked out a design that seemed Asian enough to pass. More pics later when we get a game on it!