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Posts Tagged ‘miniatures’

Dungeon Crawl

April 20th, 2014 No comments

I’ve been lax about posting pictures from the dungeon crawl in action.  Back in February.  But hey!  Here they are now.

I asked players to take pictures during the game since I’ve found that I tend to be too busy to take enough pictures.  They did so I have pictures!  Here’s some of the better ones.Small battle

Small battle, different angle

More of the dungeon and more monsters

Larger battle and dungeon

And so it begins

Insult to Injury

November 3rd, 2013 No comments

I’m not going to name the company here.  It wouldn’t do any good.  But here’s my tale.

I was accumulating a 15mm army as a gift.  A large army.  As such it’s generally not something you can do at one time.

By the time it was about 2/3 complete there was no longer a reason to have it, since I wasn’t going to be giving it as a gift.  I won’t get into that either.

The company says I need receipts to return them.  Um, who keeps receipts for extended purchases?  A pack here and a pack there add up over time but I can’t see who would keep all the receipts.

I was willing to pay the 20% restocking fee even though I tend to disagree with restocking fees when I know they just put them back in the bins.  It was worth it to me to get back the 80% of the cost I would recover.

I received an insulting reply insinuating that I may not be the rightful owner of the minis, that without receipts they can’t prove that I deserve a refund, and that I should try eBay.

I did reply with affront but I think I’ll be out the shipping cost and end up with a box full of minis I never wanted to see again much less go through all the headache of trying to sell online.  I’ll be lucky if they don’t try to charge me return shipping.

I won’t be buying from them again.  Ever.  Their customer service has shown me that they don’t really care about the customers that aren’t known, repeat customers.  This is appalling.

If I were vindictive I would make this far more public and be a lot harsher.  Since I don’t plan on patronizing them again I would be burning a bridge I never planned to cross again.  But I know it’s useless since their loyal customers won’t change and there’s no benefit in making a public fuss.  Well, any more of a public fuss than this.

Categories: 15mm, Minis Tags: , ,

Plastic Minis – Reaper Kickstarter Bones II

October 2nd, 2013 2 comments

Yeah yeah.  Here’s the link.

I went in on their first one and got something like 240 minis for $100.  I added on a set of new paints, the KS Sophie, and 3 of the mini transport cases.

Since then I’ve sold the minis and 2 of the 3 cases.  I’ll be selling the last case when I get around to it.

So what happened?  Why did I get all that stuff and then turn around and sell almost all of it?

  • I looked at that box of random plastic minis and realized I had no use for them.
  • The case cutouts aren’t large enough to hold 98% of the minis I own.  That and there’s a problem with the glue used to hold the foam together.

After telling you this why would I post about the next generation of plastic minis?  Because it’s something that a lot of people will like.  Lots of inexpensive minis including large dragons for small prices.  They’re not going to be as detailed as the metal ones (proven, not supposition) but they don’t need to be primed and if you’re looking to build out your gaming minis it’s a fast way to get a lot of variety.

This one is going to be different from the first.  Reaper learned a lot of lessons.  But anyone outside the US (also abbreviated as ROW for “rest of the world”) should be concerned about shipping charges.  A lot of minis, even plastic ones, weigh quite a bit and postage has gone through the roof.  Some of the lessons they seem to have learned are: stagger the expected ship dates since there was a LOT of complaining about that; fewer minis in the pledge itself but available as an add-on expansion; fewer pledge levels – one for people who only want the add-ons and one for people who want the base box of minis; use a different vendor for their case foam (they’re not saying who provides it now).

The big question now is will I pledge on this one?  I already did and got a Wave 1 shipping pledge.  I have a couple of weeks to decide what I want to do.  I don’t want plastic minis – my armies will be metal for as long as it’s possible.  The paints in the add-ons are not ones I want.  I’m done with unknown cases.  I’m not adding to my pledge but I’m going to keep it in place for now.

I did the math earlier.  The base set is around $0.79 per mini.  The expansion is currently at around $3.75 per mini but with the ones that will be added very soon that drops to around $2.00 per mini.  The combined base (137) and expansion (24) (with the ones that aren’t quite unlocked yet) comes out at around $0.95 per mini.  Which is a good deal if you can use them.  There’s not a lot of new work here and even in the add-ons there’s almost nothing that isn’t in metal.

I’m holding out until the end.  I don’t think that I’ll be able to do the eBay sale like last time since so many people who wanted the first one have been able to join this one.  If they do end up with paints that I want the price would be half of retail with free shipping so I could drop to the $1 pledge and get that single item.  It doesn’t sound like there will be a KS special mini and they’ve already said no metal at all (she was metal last year, which makes sense).

Go.  Look.  Decide for yourself.  The pledges are slowing down dramatically since the first day but don’t let that discourage you.  Things pick up as new stretch goals are announced and as people start increasing their pledges to include more add-ons.  Of course there’s that race to the end as well.

Categories: Minis Tags: ,

15mm Ready to Rebase

March 17th, 2013 1 comment

I made ~ahem~ a few mistakes when I started basing my 15mm for Lasalle.  The first mistake was basing for Lasalle.  I’m going to be basing for Napoleon’s Battles – a classic set of rules with basing that will work with most other rule sets.  The second mistake was not sealing the wooden bases before gluing on the minis.  With wood glue.  These were the causes for the problems that made rebasing a necessity.

I live in a semi-arid climate.  I’m still not used to this on many levels.  Because the bases weren’t sealed they absorbed a lot of the water from the glue causing some interesting but unwanted effects with the flock.  I ended up with a stripe all around the edge with no flock.  The other problem was the the whole reason for doing a glue base on top of the main base is so that if the base gets dropped there’s a good chance the entire set of minis will pop off with the glue and cause less damage.  This does not work when the wood glue adheres wonderfully to the base.

Removing them was a chore, to say the least.  These are AB minis and have tiny little ankles.  One of the ones waiting to be based is already broken off at the ankles and will be reattached soon enough.  I’m quite proud to say that I removed all 64 minis without breaking any or breaking off the bayonets.  There’s some bent bayonets but I won’t straighten them out until they’re on their final base.

Yes it looks like the terrible aftermath of a battle and in some ways that’s what it was.  The pile of wooden pieces to the right are what’s left of the original bases.  I couldn’t soak them well enough to pry them off the bases without the real potential for damage so I started breaking and peeling the bases from the bottom to pull the support away from them.  I did soak them a few times and the glue did soften up the in the process.  I will give lots of good press for Litko plywood bases.  They didn’t want to be destroyed and it took some effort to do so.  I also couldn’t use the attached figures as a grip so it was an interesting project for the evening.

I need to get a can of black spray paint to seal the new wooden bases and hope to do that today.  I think I’ve got enough finished minis for at least 30 infantry bases.  I also need to pick up some storage for them.  Since I need containers that are around 2 inches tall it will be easy enough – that’s a standard depth on a lot of them.  I can pick them up in stages since I’m going to get larger containers for these.  I also need to make movement trays and that will help keep them from sliding around in the containers.

As you can tell I’m getting ready to start painting these again.  The goal is to get all the infantry done before changing over to another project.  Mixing it up keeps things interesting.

A brief update

February 3rd, 2013 No comments

I’ve got almost all the navy Dystopian Wars ships painted.  I’m waiting on a replacement part for the carrier and in the meantime I’ve failed my roll against temptation for painting the airships that I have.  It’s not many and the sky fortress seems to have some good tactical value against Russians.  The gaming group has a lot of Russian fleets.  I’ll be posting pictures in batches in the near future.

This is the current state of my table.  I finally found the missing dungeon crawl minis that my friend Michelle is going to be painting for me.  We’ve done a barter and this means there’s a chance that they’ll get painted.  I’m only sending her the nasties and not even all of those.  Barter does have its limits.  We haven’t done the final negotiations.  I didn’t post a picture of the ones that are ready to be painted.

On a final note I’m getting the Hirst Arts kits to make the old WizWar boards.  I bought the wizard minis and I’m looking forward to doing a straightforward build again.  The painting seems to be tedious but I’m thinking it will be a good chance to try my airbrush.  There’s also some fun accessories to make.

A quick status shows that I still have 6 1/2 armies to paint (the CoA one I’ve been painting counts as 1/2 done to me), the dungeon crawl and now WizWar.  Yeah.  Plenty to keep me busy.

Dreadnought is done!

December 19th, 2012 1 comment

These things might be futzy to paint but they’re also quick.  Relatively speaking, that is.   Then again I’m painting to a tabletop level and I’m trying to impress anyone but me.

It may not come across well in the pictures but the ring on the back of the ship and the “windows” on the particle accelerator on the bridge are painted in a blue-green.  Looking at the pictures it seems to be too close to the blue on the rest of the ship but in person it does stand out.

You can see the turrets in the background.  Once I get this one  varnished I’ll take some pictures with the turrets in place and with some of the escort ships.

Categories: Dystopian War, Minis Tags: ,

Dreadnought half way done

December 18th, 2012 No comments

I decided to move on to one of the larger ships.  Because they look cool.  Turns out they used all that space to put details everywhere.

This ship has 2 different types of turret – regular ordnance and energy weapons.  I decided to magnetize the turrets so I could swap them out.  I also decided to magnetize the bridge section so it would be shorter.  I was careful but not careful enough.  Of course I screwed up the polarity of one of the magnet pairs.  Luckily it was the bridge so I’ll epoxy it down when the ship is painted.  Lesson learned because the battleship can run immersed and the bridge section is put into a clear template.

The plan is to put a wash into the circular part on the bridge and paint the ring in the back to represent Element 270.  Which means blue-green.  Otherwise it’s going to be lots of the light blue wash in all the nooks and crannies.

Ships – Fini!

December 13th, 2012 No comments

Gee, once I figured it out these painted up rather quick.  The trick seems to be KISS.  Good painting skills are still essential since brush control is important due to the amount of detail that doesn’t get painted.  It makes sense, really.

Step 1 – Base coat and metal

I put a white base coat over everything.  Go with thin coats so the detail doesn’t get clogged up.  Then I painted everything that would be metal.  And after that I touched up the white to clean up where the paint went awry.

Step 2 – Brown wash

The deck and the metal was given a brown wash.  The deck got touched up a bit where it dried spotty.  The brown wash also took care of lining those areas that needed it.  The last steps were using the brown wash in the details to make them stand out more and touching up the white.  Again.

Step 3 – Blue shadows

I wanted to do a cool blue-toned white.  That’s why the first attempts had blue hulls.  I achieved the same type of effect by using a pale blue in the shadows.  And I touched up the white.

Step 4 – Element 270 (Sturginium)

The fluff has the magic rock as a glowing blue-green.  I wasn’t going to do OSL on these so I put a dot of the color in the bottom of the smokestacks.

Categories: Dungeon Crawl, Minis Tags: ,

Ships – I didn’t get it

December 10th, 2012 No comments

Last night I started work on the hulls. My intent was to bring up the white with washes.  Turns out I was incorrect in my technique.

Once again I have discovered that the ways I paint minis are not suitable for these kind of minis.

I’m going to test the idea of how I’m going to get a shadow on these without having a darker base coat.  Since they will be taking another trip into the Simple Green I can test directly on the minis instead of getting to that point and finding it won’t work.

I’m not thrilled about redoing these minis a third time but I also knew that I would be using them as a learning experience.  Oh, I’ve learned all right.

I’m also going to try changing the deck color to something lighter so the metal stands out.  The one I have now looks great but it’s too close to the brass and when they’re together nothing stands out.  I have a couple of ideas and I’ll test them before I start over.  I’m debating between a very, very light tan or plain white – both with the brown washes.   I think I know which one will look better but I have to try them both to be sure.

On a better note I received my rare earth magnets so I can plan on starting the larger ships once I figure out the painting methods.  I’ll be using magnets to hold the airships on the flight stands (removable for storage) and for the alternate weapons available to ships.  I’ll probably keep the bridge separate as well since they came that way.  It will also make the ships less prone to damage during transport.

Ah well.  Live and learn.  Then blog about what went wrong so other people can use what I’ve done.

Ships, Take 2

December 8th, 2012 1 comment

This time I think I got it.  Fewer colors, more washes.

For the hull I’m going with a blue base coat so I can work it up to white.  This hasn’t changed from the original color scheme.

You can see the wash around the parts that are going to be gold, once I get to them.  I wanted these to stand out.  You’ll also notice the rivets didn’t get the same treatment. See my previous post about getting too caught up in the details.

 

This is the wooden deck.  I do like the way the space between the boards pops when I added the brown wash.  Two coats of wash because the first one just didn’t have enough emphasis.  Not all the ships have a wooden deck but for those that do this will work nicely.

Everything that is still white and some parts that are blue got painted with the metallic base coat last night.  I need to touch up a few places with the original blue and then I’m ready to do finishing work.  Yes, finishing work so soon.  I did say I was overworking these paint jobs the first time around.