Saturday, March 26, 2016

Strange Aeons: Rogue Agent

Here is Rogue Agent "Dark Cloud," for my Lurkers in the great game of Strange Aeons.

Once a proud field agent serving the Mid Atlantic states, the man who once stood for good has been at the heart of several town-devouring uprisings of undead in the last few months. Under the cover story of plague, the wary Threshold branch sees their time running out to conceal the aftermath of Dark Cloud's power over death and to find the source of his power.

Though Dark Cloud is now classified as a highest priority case via Black Dossier, the Threshold do not need to search long, as the pattern of zombie raising shows the evil agent steadily approaching the secret Threshold HQ in the hills of Pennsylvania...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Strange Aeons: Graveyard Set

Here's my graveyard set for Strange Aeons. This is a combination of a few pieces:
  1. Old GW foam molded graveyard set, slightly converted and heavily repainted. 
  2. Armor Cast grave stones set
  3. Generic tombstone set from China
  4. Old GW tombstones from old WHFB Skeleton sprues and Zombie sprues
  5. O-Scale cemetery fence set
  6. Rounded wood trim for base of above fencing
  7. Dave Graffam PDF cardstock buildings and cobblestones

Strange Aeons: Dave Graffam Print n Fold Cardstock Buildings

I wanted to share these PDF print-on-cardstock buildings I picked up from Dave Graffam Models. Look, seeing and playing is believing. I didn't think I would get such a great match for the other Strange Aeons terrain I have been building, much less in card stock terrain, both in terms of value and appearance. But I did! Check it out...

I have been wanting to do something like an Innsmouth board for Strange Aeons. I didn't want to put out hundreds of dollars for resin or plastic kits. I saw Dave Graffam's PDF kits and DL'd the free Coach House, the aesthetic of which seemed to match the tone of my Strange Aeons stuff really well (Gothic horror, 1920's New England.)

My main concern was how resilient the card stock would be, not the build itself. So I made the coach house according to directions using matte Mod Podge and based it on MDF, finishing it with texture paint, some balsa flagstone and the usual flock treatment. This would let me see how sturdy it was with no modification.

Frankly, it looks so damn great you can forget it's card stock and also, free. The only thing I did to the building itself was darken where any white paper shows through in the corners. I used Army Painter Strong Tone, which the paper drinks up without wrinkling. Once based, it is strong enough to hold up to most gaming. Yes, it is card stock and yes, you can demolish it. But it came out really strong when based. I would not put an old GW metal dred on it but you probably could. The PDF plans also average 3 or 4 bucks US for as many models (with variations) as you want to print and build, so you can't argue with that, really. Every so often the 2D sorta jumps out at you from strange angles or the roofs catch sheen under the right angle of light. But that is so infrequent so as to matter much.

Did I mention the buildings look great?

Build time averages about 40 minutes to an hour for most kits. After a few, I managed assembly of a few buildings in a sitting. And it was fun!

Even without any ink on the folds on these two other buildings, they look pretty damn fine. Some finishing and basing will take them over the top and fill up a table fast and beautifully.
Calling the Coach House a success, I bought about US$20.00 of plans and that got me an Inn, a Church, ruined Church, Maritime buildings pack, some warehouses, outhouses, cobblestone roads, sheds and such. I have been really impressed with the ability to change graphic layers before printing, to add different features like windows, doors, weathering, stucco or wood features and other details. With that editing and some creative cutting, you can easily vary these buildings and make a village with just a handful of plans, in less time and less money than plastic or resin kits.

I can see using these for Strange Aeons, Warmahordes and Bolt Action, to name a few. Note too that all plans come with a print scaler, so you can easily make these bigger or smaller for different scales.

Grab a metal ruler, some cardstock and Mod Podge and the free PDF's yourself, using the link above.

Strange Aeons: Demolitionist

Here is my Demolitionist for Strange Aeons, the kind of hired agent you hope joins your team permanently. With a detonator and a ton of TnT, Hiring him is a good way fledgling Threshold teams live long enough to earn better gear and map pieces.

This is a Lead Adventure mini and was awesome to paint, highly recommended. Special shout out to The Ceretti's for their sponsorship in new paint, which made flying through a model like this a joy.

Strange Aeons: Formless Thing/Shoggoth

In honor of H.P. Lovecraft's death today in 1937, I figured I would unleash a bunch of Strange Aeons stuff I have been working on, getting ready for some Second Edition this Spring.

First up is a Formless Thing or perhaps a Shoggoth. This is a BONES mini and it is fairly straightforward. As far as "starting" Lurkers go, this model makes a perfect Formless Thing at 15 points; a great monster for a new Threshold team to cut their teeth on (or the other way around.)

The palette was a mix of purples and pinks over a black undercoat, along with reds and yellows on the eyes with Orange/flow enhancer for glow. I finished with my usual gore mix of Tamiya Red with some GW purple mixed together and appropriately applied as a trail, careful not to over do it.

Warhammer 40k: Commissar Yarrick

Yet another addition to my Valhallens for 40K, none other than the man himself, Commissar Yarrick. Painted with an eye on the Apocalypse arc for my club's Burning Stars league, Yarrick vouched safe his formidable reputation during the utter chaos of our massive Apocalypse game this past January, Rebuffed at Barnes 595... but more on that in a minute (but go look at the Apoc pics, it is insane.)

I opted to re-sculpt where his sheathed sword originally was, back into the underlying sash, since I didn't have time to find the missing bit (and it wasn't a standout must-have looking at his stat-line.) He was a one-session paintjob in the face of the impending game, anyway. I also chose to lighten the tone of his traditional Commissariat coat since it looks better in the polar terrain.

Here you can see Yarrick on the lower left, under the Valhallen Lightning, in the first of a few Apocalyse naps. He'd lose his last wound, crumple to the ground, then come right back next turn and he did it ALL DAMN GAME on that objective, including on the last turn where he stood up one last time to contest an objective.  Seriously though he did this 4 times in a row. He has minerals.

Warhammer 40K: Converted Enginseer and Servitors

Here are my "up armed" Servitors to go with my Enginseer, which is a Forge World Myrmidion. The changes are pretty obvious on the servitors. I added some more fairing/power plants and servo arms from the old Fabius Bile kit. Those additional bits hide the magnets to swap out the servo arms for Heavy Bolters or Plasma Cannon. These were actually done some time ago, to be deployed in my club's Burning Stars campaign and Apocalypse game. I'm lazy with updates sometimes.

The Enginseer has re positioned power axe arms that have a magnet mount and pin to make storage way easier and the pose more dramatic and crowd friendly.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Music List for Gaming: Strange Aeons and Bushido

Beautiful Servitor of the Outer gods, by majicxii
Here is an updated list of great atmospheric music for games of Strange Aeons and Bushido.

For Strange Aeons:

  1. Prometheus, Soundtrack, Marc Streitenfeld
  2. Sherlock Holmes, Soundtrack, Hans Zimmer (I think this and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter have the best tone for this game)
  3. Van Helsing,  Soundtrack, Alan Silvestri
  4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Soundtrack, Wojciech Kilar
  5. Third Eye Open: A Tribute to Tool
  6. Sleepy Hollow, Soundtrack, Danny Elfman
  7. Pictures at an Exhibition, Modest Mussorgsky (Prague Symphony Orchestra)
  8. Fargo, Soundtrack, Carter Burwell, Various
  9. There Will Be Blood, Soundtrack, Various
  10. Gangs of New York, Soundtrack, Howard Shore
  11. Pirates of the Caribbean, Soundtrack, Klaus Badelt
  12. The Mummy, Soundtrack, Jerry Goldsmith
  13. Independence Day, Soundtrack, Nicholas Todd
  14. Jurassic Park, Soundtrack, John Williams
  15. Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2, Hans Zimmer
  16. Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3, Various
  17. The Aviator, Soundtrack, Howard Shore
  18. Blackhawk Down, Soundtrack, Hans Zimmer
  19. Dark Knight Rises, Soundtrack, Hans Zimmer
  20. Master and Commander, Christopher Gordon, et al
  21. Captain America Soundtrack, Soundtrack, Alan Silvestri
  22. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Soundtrack, Mikoli Stroinski (I think this and Sherlock Holmes have the best tone for this game)

For Bushido:

  1. Memoirs of a Geisha, Soundtrack, John Williams
  2. 47 Ronin, Soundtrack, Ilan Eshkeri 
  3. Ghost in the Shell, Kenji Kawai
  4. Akira, Soundtrack, GeinĊ Yamashirogumi
  5. Godzilla, Soundtrack, Alexandre Desplat
  6. Kung Fu Panda 2, Soundtrack, Hans Zimmer, James Powell
  7. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Soundtrack, Tan Dun
  8. Ninja Scroll, Soundtrack, Kaoru Wada