Archive for October, 2008

Working on a demo army

October 31st, 2008 No comments

I want to start running demos, events and just plain games using the Reaper Warlord system.  So I need demo armies to keep the ham-fisted gamers away from my personal armies and to have readily available balanced demo forces.  As an official Reaper demo person I get points for running events.  I can then spend those points to get stuff.  Like figures for demo armies.

I may have already noted this but I'm not known for going back to read old posts.

My demo armies each have two troops – one with a sergeant and troops, one with a monster.  So that's a total of 10 figures to paint for each demo army.  Not too bad, that's doable.

I'm starting with Crusaders since that's not one of my personal armies and I didn't have the color scheme set for the ones I did get.  So, start with the oddballs.

I've been taking pictures of each step of the painting process, mostly to keep me going and also to show off and hopefully inspire others to paint stuff.  It takes more time on my part since I have to stop to take pictures after each step but that's not too bad.

I'm not doing the typical 'base coat, dry brush, call it done' painting.  I've tried it and I just don't like it.  So I'm doing a basic tabletop paint job on them.

Without further ado, the pictures.

This dude has the brown paint on his legs.  Everything was painted dark brown.  The chain mail, the leg armor and the boots.

It's a little hard to see but his chain mail now has silver on it.  I so need a better light setup for quick pictures.

A bit more shiny.  The leg armor has been painted gold.  There will be tiny hotspots of bright silver on that when I'm done with everything else but for now it's good.

Everything left that is chain mail, armor or attached leather (like gloves) is that same dark brown.  I need to buy another bottle of that.  This gives me a nice warm brown undercoat to everything.  That same dark brown base coat sucked all the light out of the picture.  And I'm not savvy enough in Photoshop to make it lighter.  Hopefully by the time I get to the finished figures my new low-class light box will be color corrected out of the yellow band and I can take better, more accurate, pictures.

That's as far as I go right now.   There's four of these types of figures that are all getting painted at once.  I'm trying to find the time to get at least one step done per night if I can.  Hopefully this weekend I'll get them all the way to the fabric parts.

A note on the gold armor.  The only reason for this is that one of my other demo armies is dudes in plate armor.  So to make sure they stand apart on the table this faction gets gold armor.  That will make it easier to identify who is whom.

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Finished a couple of minis

October 21st, 2008 No comments

One of the most tedious tasks is painting armies.  There's just so many figures and so many are the same it seems like an impossible task.  So I thought it would be interesting to see if people were interested in trying an exchange.  In this one it would work more like a round-robin so that everyone painted minis for one person, then the next person sent out their minis, and so on.  Eventually you'll end up with about a dozen painted minis, as would everyone in the exchange. (Math = 4 people each sending 4 minis.  While that might look like it adds up to 16 and not 12 remember the recipient isn't counted.  12.  Nyah.)

So the first set goes out and it happens to be minis I can't stand and just can't figure out how to paint.  I finally slogged through them and actually finished up the one different one today.  Considering I also started it today I think that's pretty darn spiffy.

Isiri 02 - Front
Broken Fodder - Front

The one on the top is the type of figure that I had a hard time figuring out what was what to paint.

The one on the bottom was quick, easy and fun for some reason.  I can see a couple of tiny touchups needed on him in the pictures but since they're all waiting on varnish that's a quick thing.

The entire collection is down below if you want to browse.  The pictures weren't done with 'good light' so they're a bit dark in places.

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It happened again, kind of

October 17th, 2008 2 comments

A few years ago I sold some board game expansion packs.  I had 'lost' the board game they went to in The Great House Divide of 1998 but ended up with the expansion packs.

Fifteen years and five moves later I decided to put them up for sale.  Turns out one of them was the rarest of the rare.  Mine was in almost mint condition – figures still on the sprue, cards unpunched, the works.  I was figuring it would get between $200 and $250, based on past sales.

The thing went for $467.  Between that and the other older stuff I sold off it paid for my annual convention trip.  Rastl was pleased.

Now we're finally pulling out some Halloween village pieces.  If you go to Menards or Michaels craft store you can see these things.  A lot of them have animation and noise, now they've got three 'themed' sets along with general Halloween.  We bought ours about three or four years ago and never took them out of the boxes.  Good idea at the time but we never pulled them out early enough to make them worth setting up.

This year we're going to set up a small-ish diorama.  We've got Grandma's coffee table so there's a defined space.  I picked up some kind of dead grass color felt so there's a base.  And I bought the riser for the set.  Yes, I could have carved one out of pink foam and painted it but this was on sale and there you go.

So right now the table has a felt piece, a riser and a cat.  The cat has to go.

Honestly, I'm going somewhere with this.

Since we haven't looked at the pieces since they were purchased we had to dig them all out and look at what we had to see what would work.  Being who I am I kept an eye on the auction prices for various pieces.  And yes, once again we have the coveted piece.  It is pretty cool – it's a skull fountain that does the mist thing.

We paid about $25 for it and it's going for about $150 right now.  We decided to leave it in the box and put it back in storage.  We're not quite ready to sell it yet but we want to keep our options open.  And new in box always brings a better price.

Our other pieces are worth about what we paid.  So they're fine to use.  We're going to try a small mansion on the top of the riser and two large pieces below – an inn and a laboratory.  We have some other fill-in pieces like a tree with a witch that circles it as well as just plain overpriced trees.

Mr. Rastl is still recovering from his surgery so I have a feeling this will be a nice project for him to work on during the day.  Hiding the cords is going to be fun and I have a feeling I'll need to pull out some brown felt to use as paths that will do double duty to hide the cords.  I also have a feeling that we'll use all the sound and lights about three times before they become too annoying for words.

I'll post pictures once we get it up and running.

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Today’s robot servant lessons

October 12th, 2008 No comments

I finally used my Scooba today.  I had a little problem with it being delivered to the wrong house and then finding the time to set things up.  It did get a lovely long battery charge tho.

On to the lessons.

  1. What I thought was going to be three room divisions will actually be five.  Two of them are rather small (back landing and the hallway between the bedrooms) but since they take the rooms from square to L shaped they're going to have to be done separately if I want the rooms completely cleaned.
  2. When it says 'Check Tank' it's done.  That means it's out of cleaning solution but don't be fooled into thinking you can get another tank's worth of cleaning.  The battery doesn't last that long.  At least in my model it doesn't.
  3. The thing is persistent.  It kept trying to find a way over the lip into the back landing and when it did that's where it decided to clean.  Next time, the virtual wall goes up to keep it where I want it.
  4. It works.  The water I dumped out of the dirty tank was opaque.  So it's doing its job.
  5. I have too much stuff on the floors.  As I go through the rooms I'll be de-cluttering as best as I can so that I can get them scrubbed.
  6. Robot servants are demanding.  They beep when they want something.  And they beep a message.

I love my robot servants.

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Tiny little updates

October 11th, 2008 No comments

I haven't accomplished squat this last week or so.

I've been working on the cardstock stuff and wanted to use up some of the incredible amount of foamcore I acquired.  So I decided to work on ground tiles.  Not familiar with ground tiles?  Let me explain.

Ground tiles are tiles of mounted cardstock that simulate the ground terrain of your current setup.  So you have rocky floor for caverns, grass and dirt for villages, etc.  They're not completely necessary if you're using a battle mat underneath them (the grid for movement, you see) but they really do make it look nice.  And yes, one option is to print the ground tiles with a grid.

The company suggests gluing these ground tiles onto a single sheet of foamcore to make a Masterboard.  Well, since I have so freakin' much foamcore I decided to go with tiles instead.  That way I can create my ground terrain however I darn well please.  This is more of an issue with the village stuff than the cavern or water stuff really.

They have a nifty extra step that allows you to use bow tie connectors under the ground tile.  That way the pieces don't slide around but you also don't see the connector.  The newer sets come with the template for this process.

I copied off a bunch of the template and decided to try spray adhesive for this, since I was gluing a large flat area and that's what spray adhesives are good for.

I'm calling that a mixed success.  I might not have sprayed enough on but the adhesion isn't as good as I would have liked.  I'll be doing some cleanup by gluing down corners, etc.  Luckily I had a 40% off coupon at the one store in the area that sells the type of glue I like.  Score!

So I'm slowly cutting these out.  The foamcore is white and while technically I could leave it white I'm going to paint the edges black just so they look better.  Another step in the process.  After these foamcore bases are complete then I can glue on the ground tiles and it will be all good.  Not only will these be more versatile in setup but it's much easier to store 7 inch by 7 inch tiles than a 2 foot by 3 foot sheet of Masterboard.

Otherwise I just need to finish up painting and basing a figure for someone, paint up one more figure for an exchange, and work on a plaster building or three.

Oh, I had the opportunity to score some free plaster but I passed it up.  A couple of reasons:

  1. I've got the water:plaster ratio down cold for the type I currently use
  2. I can buy fifty pounds of plaster for very little money
  3. I'm not casting enough to justify having several hundred pounds of plaster sitting in the basement

OK.  That was three reasons.  I feel they're all valid reasons and I'm happy with the decision.  We're trying to reduce clutter and that wasn't the way to go.

One last thing.  I'm in a wedding in December so I was able to pick up the fabric to make my dress.  The bride is being quite sensible and just telling us a color so we can (technically) have dresses that we can wear again.  The color is 'dark red' and didya know just how many colors kind of but not really fall into that range?  Let me tell you – lots.  But I found a satin that will work.  I'm still not sure if I'm going to make it shiny side out or not.  What?  You didn't know you can use either side of a fabric?  I'm shocked!

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Make up your mind!

October 4th, 2008 No comments

I've been 'coming down with a cold' for about the last four days.  It never quite becomes a cold but it never quite goes away.

I wish the stupid thing would make up its mind.  Either get me sick or go away.

Yes, I've been grumpy.

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