Archive for May, 2009

Painting Test – Oxidized Metal

A long, long time ago, a company came up with the idea to make a miniatures game with pre-painted plastic miniatures, and they would sell those miniatures as random allotments in sets of seven in sealed boxes. They called it Mage Knight (WizKids Games). Like baseball cards, the rare ones were the good ones, and there were tons and tons of commons. They sold a bunch and made a good deal of money. Then they thought, “Hey, I bet if we make metal versions that players have to construct and paint, they’ll sell great, too!”

They were quite wrong.

So, years later I find three neat metal figures in the super-discount bin at a gaming store north of town. A Steam Golem, a Brass Golem (or maybe a Bronze Golem, I don’t remember) and a Storm Golem. Back when I played the game, the Storm Golem was a rare, and really powerful. But the Steam Golem, though kind of a pud as golems go, was a really cool sculpt. So I’ve started to paint him up.

The rusty Steam Golem

The rusty Steam Golem

I positioned him on a fancy resin base I bought at Gen Con this year. I brush primed him with black gesso (I’ll explain that another time, perhaps) and then coated him with cheap Delta Ceramcoat acrylic from Hobby Lobby. The color is Brown Iron Oxide, because I want him to look rusty and corroded. Then I covered him with another Delta Ceramcoat color, Hippo Grey.

I don’t know if I got a bad batch of this particular paint or what, but the stuff doesn’t cover well at all. Normally, that would make me angry, but what it means here is that this grey color allows the color you paint under it to really bleed through in an interesting way. In this case, these two simple colors and a sepia wash have made this figure look rusty and covered in a slightly green patina, which is what I was hoping for.

I’ll have more on the progress of this figure as it goes.

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The Start of My Khador Force

I finally got my lighting box built and all set up for taking photos of miniatures and such. The images are turning out okay, but I might need to keep tweaking my camera technique.

My Khador Juggernaut warjack

My Khador Juggernaut warjack

This is a Khador Juggernaut warjack from Warmachine (Privateer Press). The warjack was kind of difficult to paint because it was so big. I’ve never painted a miniature that was so large. It was also problematic to construct, as the two pieces of the torso on Khador warjacks never fit properly together, and leave a gap. I used “green stuff” epoxy putty to close the gap.

The warcaster and her 'jack

The warcaster and her 'jack

The warcaster Sorscha was fun to paint. I used the standard colors for a Khador army, but I painted her differently than her image on the box or most of the examples I found online. I mostly like how they both worked out. I didn’t dip these models (for once) but used a lot of the Games Workshop washes on them for detailing and shading. I can’t suggest those washes enough. They work great.

I may add some static grass to the bases, but other than that, they’re done. Now I need to get moving on the other warjack in the battlegroup, the Destroyer.

My First Foamcore Ruins

So, I have been building terrain for several years now: hills, walls, shrines and the like. However, I’ve never built the standard foamcore ruined building for use on my gaming table. A few weeks ago, I started to correct that error.

The outside of my ruined building

The outside of my ruined building

I started, as I usually do, at the computer. I used my vector drawing program to draw a two-story wall section with window holes and such and printed it out for a template. That allowed me to trace my template on to some nice, non-bent and non-molested pieces of foamcore, which were actually difficult to find at my place. After I cut the shapes out of the foamcore, I glued them to the piece of MDF I had prepared before. The MDF was cut using a RotoZip saw and then it was sanded and smoothed with a combination of my crappy Dremel and a sanding block.

And the inside, and its happy rubble.

And the inside, and its happy rubble

Once my foamcore walls and base were all glued together, I started working on details. I’m a big fan of details in terrain. I glued a mixture of sand and kitty litter to the “broken” edges of the walls, and added it to the floors along with some other little pieces of sprue and plastic for rubble. I also glued down jagged pieces of plaster that I had prepared and broken earlier to give the look of broken concrete. I want to cover the floor and make it look convincing, but I still need the terrain to be usable. If I can’t stand a miniature on most of it, then it’s not a very playable piece of terrain, it’s mainly just an obstacle. Obstacles have their place on the gaming table, but not usually as an entire ruined building. Therefore, I’m careful about my placement of my debris.

Finally, I added pieces of plastic card and cereal card as molding and other architectural details to the structure. I believe that even simple foamcore ruins can be greatly improved with some simple window sills and other surface embellishments.

As it turns out, I thought I had something else going on this Saturday, but now I’m mainly free, so I’m going to see if I can finish the detailing on this piece and get it primed (if it’s not rainy) so I can start painting it. I’ll post more images once I get to that point.

Half Day Game Day V

I’m posting this from House of Heroes, here in beautiful downtown Oshkosh. Today is Half Day Game Day V, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Earlier I played Space Hulk (Games Workshop) as the genestealers. I stopped the dreaded, imperialist Space Marines from destroying my homeland (the floating, ancient starship) by killing them all and stabbibg their faces, as is the way of my ‘people’ (such as they are).

The evil Space Marines about to fall

The evil Space Marines about to fall

There are a bunch of other people here, playing a bunch of boardgames and card games. We run this event three times a year here at House of Heroes. It’s kind of a cross promotion for both the House and for OshCon, plus it’s a good excuse to spend a Saturday playing a bunch of games and meeting new people, which is also fun.

It is actually a Small World, after all

It is actually a Small World, after all

I’ve been seeing a lot of different games going on right now. Currently, I’m seeing Agricola (Z-man Games), Fjords (Rio Grande Games), and a Star Wars Miniatures (Wizards of the Coast) mini-tourney happening within 10 feet of me. I think there’s some Pokemon (Nintendo) going on over there, too. We’ll be doing it again in July or August, I suspect, so keep an eye out here at the blog and I’ll announce the next date when it’s determined.

PointCon – Stevens Point, WI

PointCon is a gaming convention held at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point campus and run by the Gamers’ Alliance of Stevens Point, a college club. This year it was held May 1 through May 3 in the Laird Room in the Dreyfus University Center. Peter and our friend Tim and I went to check it out (as we had never been to the convention before) and to run some playtests of our in-progress miniatures ruleset. We packed up the terrain and miniatures we’ve been using at the local conventions where we’ve been playtesting and made the hour and twenty-minute drive to Stevens Point.

The mostly empty hall

The mostly empty hall

We got there around 10:30 a.m., parked in a lot a few blocks away, and walked to the Dreyfus University Center, a brand-new student union building. It’s beautiful facility with a food court and all kinds of amenities. We eventually found the Laird Room, paid the five bucks (it covered the whole weekend)  and entered a huge conference center room with a very pretty hardwood floor. We were at the convention.

Actual ingame footage!

Actual ingame footage!

There were a few vendors, some videogames set up (a Wii, an Xbox360) and a sea of mostly empty tables. Plenty of places to play games. We found our table, met the people running the convention, and started setting up our terrain. The place was pretty empty, but it was still early (10:30 or so) to a degree, so we assumed the players would start showing up soon. I remember not being much of an early riser when I was in college.

A small force

A small force

Just before noon we realized that there were no more people at the convention than there had been an hour and a half ago. We did have one person who was interested in trying out our game, which was great, but he had been at the last several local gaming conventions we had been to and we knew him from the “circuit”, so we weren’t necessarily branching out much to new people. We played through the game in about an hour and a half (I won, but not decisively) and then grabbed some food. The number of attendees had increased a bit, but not by much: at the high point, I did a headcount and came up with 30 people, including vendors, staff and ourselves.

At least one full table

At least one full table

We didn’t have anyone to play with when our second timeslot came up at 4 p.m., so we just discussed rules and worked on how grenades were going to work next time we playtested. We packed up and had a quick talk with the organizer. He apologized for there not being many people there, and he picked our brains for suggestions. We gave him some advice, and we hope that they have a more sucessful convention next year. Wisconsin really needs more than two or three good, steady gaming conventions and we’re always happy to try and help.

Overall, I really hope they suceed and make the convention grow. It’s not too far away, it’s a nice drive, and it’s held in a great facility. They just need to advertise a little better and get the word out more effectively.

20-year-old Genestealers

So my very good friend Peter accidentally got me into miniatures back in the very early 1990s. He and I were in college, and he introduced me to Space Hulk from Games Workshop. He had just recently gotten it, and we started playing it in our group. I remember pouring through the booklets when I was watching him and our other friends play. I was keenly fascinated by the ‘fluff’ (the storyline and background and art and design) of the game and of the Warhammer 40k universe in general. I’ve been interested in the ‘fluff’ ever since, even if I really don’t like the game.

Recently, Peter decided to run Space Hulk for the kids in the gaming group at the high school where he works. However, after all of these years, none of the figures were painted. Many of the genestealers didn’t even have all of their arms glued on. He wanted to get them all constructed, simply based and painted before the group’s next game day, so he came to me. However, we only had two weeks to get it all done: 28 genestealers and 14 terminator space marines. It would be tight, but by splitting the workload, we figured we could do it.

The quickly-painted defenders of humanity

The quickly-painted defenders of humanity

It turned out that by using plenty of the excellent Games Workshop washes, we were able to get them all constructed, based, primed, painted, washed, detailed and varnished in exactly two weeks. They were simple, but they looked nice, and we made our deadline, so that was what counted.

The quickly-painted horde

The quickly-painted horde

As it turned out, genestealers may be the nearly perfect quick-paint army. We spray-primed them with the bleached bone spray primer from Army Painter, painted the claws and tongues red, then just washed them several times with the Delvan Mud wash and picked out some other parts (mainly their backs) with the Badab Black wash. Hit them with the Dullcote and stick a fork in them, they’re done. I think they turned out pretty well, and he said the kids really liked them. Hopefully he (and I) have instilled the miniatures bug in the next generation of nerds. What more can we hope for?

Well, we can hope to play a few games of Space Hulk pretty soon, but I think we should be taking care of that next weekend. Maybe I’ll be able to shoot some photos of the figures actually in play.

Welcome

your humble host

I’d like to welcome you to my gaming blog. I’ve been kicking around the idea of setting up a blog to talk about my hobby for quite some time now, but I was a little too lazy to build something from scratch just for the purpose. I knew about WordPress, but didn’t want to set up a hosting account and go through all of that just for a simple blog. I used to use Blogger, but I was finding the features of that service limiting. Then I found out you could get a WordPress site hosted for free through WordPress.com and that finally gave me the push I needed.

There are a few more tweaks I plan on making to the site, but at this point, I felt it was close enough to launch, so now you can consider it launched. If you want to find out more about who I am and what I’m doing here, please check out my FAQ/about, and if you have any questions, drop them in the comments.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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