Tuesday 31 December 2019

Don't Look Back In Anger

As 2019 comes to an end it's time to review how I've done with my gaming resolutions for the year.

However, before getting to that, here's my last miniature of the year; a slave tech from Fallout.

As it's from the starter set, this miniature is cast in PVC and it suffers for that. The material seems to struggle with finer details like faces and, just like Reaper Bones, has mold lines that I don't see until the models are painted.

This was never going to be my favourite from the set, but he's done to an acceptable standard.

And now on to the resolutions I set for myself; let's see how I did...

1. No New Games - Fail

Despite my resilience earlier in the year in deciding to pass up the AVP game I won, the lure of new and shiny games got to me in the end. Pulp City, Rangers of Shadow Deep and Fallout: Wasteland Warfare have all dragged me into their orbits in recent months. In fairness, two of them are solo games and all three have a small model count, but a fail is a fail.

2. Finish Old Projects - Fail

I listed a number of games last year and I've only actually 'finished' one of them, Terminator: Genisys (by which I mean I don't have a backlog and have two fully painted forces). However, although I've painted some Batman and Dropzone Commander, I've actually bought more for each game, and I haven't touched the Walking Dead, Flames of War, Dropfleet Commander or my War of 1812 army, again.

3. Continue Solo Campaigns - Fail

Although I have entered into a cooperative Rangers of Shadow Deep campaign with my daughter, I didn't actually return to the solo campaigns I mentioned last year in the Walking Dead or Super Mission Force. I will return to these campaigns one day, but I'm still waiting for motivation to strike.

4. Paint More Than I Acquire - Fail

With the addition of the Slave Tech, a slight readjustment of what qualifies as a 'model' in the Mantic terrain I recieved, and a late secret Santa gift of an IS-2 tank (with infantry), the final score stands at a depressing 276-226.

226 is not a bad tally, and I have been somewhat hampered by Wargames Illustrated's constant stream of free sprues, but I've got into a slightly generous habit of giving these to people whole use them rather than hoarding. However this still wasn't enough to see the lead pile reduce.

5. Play & Paint More 7TV - Success

I've been to five 7TV events this year and played quite a few games with Matt as preparation and as a playtester for the Menagerie of Terror. I've painted more Masters of the Universe miniatures (and taken them to two events, winning best cast at one), loads of terrain, giant ants and a scorpion, a V cast, several vehicles, and numerous other miniatures. In fact, my focus on 7TV related projects is probably the reason I haven't made that much progress in other areas.

With such a weak performance this year, I'm going to keep things simple for 2020 and just have the one resolution.

I'm going to conquer the lead mountain!

Not the one in Colorado though.

I'm not going to get rid of the lead pile altogether, that would be crazy talk (let's not bring up Operation Unthinkable, m'kay?), but I am going to aim to finish off or get rid the backlog from those older projects that have been haunting me for several years. I'm also going to paint more than I acquire; and this time I'm going to build up a solid lead before Christmas ruins it.

And that's me signing off for 2019. Thanks for sticking with my meandering blog, and I wish you and yours a very happy new year and I'll see you on the other side.

On the plus side, my painting should improve as I will once again have 2020 vision!

Sunday 29 December 2019

Into The Wasteland

As mentioned in previous posts, I took advantage of a Black Friday deal to pick up Fallout: Wasteland Warfare with 50% off and it was wrapped up as a Christmas present.

To be honest, without the money off I probably wouldn't have bought the game as I really have no experience if the Fallout setting; I've never played any of the console games and I really first encountered Fallout through the board game about six months ago.

So why by Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, I hear you ask?

Well, firstly it was cheap. However, more importantly, I'd heard good things about the AI system, as, increasingly, any new game I buy needs to have a solo option simply because of the amount of other systems vying for time in our gaming group.

Additionally, I've been looking for something with a post-apocalyptic flavour (that isn't Mad Max of Zombies) use with 7TV:Apocalypse, and so if I don't like FWW, I'll still have an option for the miniatures and scenarios.

Speaking of miniatures, I've started into the 12 miniatures that came in the starter set. This first one is Aspirant Goddard, who belongs to something called 'the Brotherhood of Steel', however the miniature also seems to see use as other characters when they are wearing power armour.

On the subject of the power armour, I'm intrigued by the similarity between this suit and the later design of space marines (after the initial womble design). I'm curious as to whether GW might have been 'inspired' by Fallout, in the same was that the film Aliens possibly 'inspired' Space Hulk.

In terms of painting, Aspirant Goddard was pretty straightforward. I went for dry brushing the silver rather than washing to get a slightly more battered and scratchy look. I've also tried to use a brown wash in places to suggest wear and rust, but I don't think this has come out in the picture.

I'm actually really happy with him.

I'm also really happy with my two super mutant hounds.

It seems that the concept of 'super' mutants doesn't have the X-Men vibe that the term suggests. Rather, they are all large, strong and aggressive.

In terms of painting, I've kept things simple, using washes and dry brushing for the most part. The hardest part is doing the bases, as the models come attached to them.

If I have a gripe, it's about the material the miniatures in the starter set are made of. It's a pvc not dissimilar to the material used for Reaper Bones, which I've found to be fine for larger models like the hounds and Aspirant Goddard, but lacks definition for more detailed features, like faces, and so the smaller models will need more work. I've also contacted Modiphius about replacing one of the super mutants, which has a miscast face that lacks real detail.

However, given that Modiphius are apparently good about this sort of thing (watch this space), the rest of the box is nicely cast, and everything else in the range is cast in resin, I'm not overly worried about this.

I think I've given up on breaking even in my painting tallies by Wednesday, but I suppose I still need to chart my failure.

Acquired: 276
Painted: 225

Saturday 28 December 2019

They Came From The Sky...

I hope everyone has had a good Christmas. I have, and along with the required family time and food gobbling, I've been getting a bit more painting done.

I've painted three Marauder dropships for my Scourge Dropzone Commander army.

They're actually the last three models from the starter force I bought back in the summer (well, in truth, there's a spare Invader transport that I've used as a test piece that I need to work out what to do with).

I've used the same colour scheme as the rest of the force, although it looks very different in natural light. 

Now I've worked out what I'm doing, this should be a relatively fast way to get additional units done, and I'll need additional units as Pete and I are planning to play the Battle For Earth campaign with our respective Dropzone and Dropfleet armies. The games escalate in size and so it should give me plenty of impetus to add units in the future.

The only downside with these is that they were second hand. The person I'd bought them from had already stuck the widgets to the base of the models and so they've ended up with paint on during the many paint stripping processes they've been through. However, as they're underneath,  this shouldn't be a problem. Also, one of the flying stands is cloudy due to glue spillage and so I'll gave to swap that out with my Resistance flight stands when I play.

I'm waiting for drier weather to add a few coats of varnish to them as the tank models actually stack on them like a CD rack, and so I want to avoid the inevitable wear as much as possible.

You'd think that with all these Scourge done, I'd be sailing towards my goal of painting more models than I acquire, however, this happened...

...thanks Santa...

That's a grand total of 70 new models!


Acquired: 276
Painted: 222

I'd better get painting before Wednesday.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Tis the season for giving...

...your planet to us!

I've finally got around to painting the vehicles for my Scourge starter set for Dropzone Commander.

The reason fo this delay has been settling on how to approach them and a bit of a battle with the Fleshtearers Red contrast paint from GW.

The first issue was deciding on colour scheme. I didn't want to do them the same as my Dropfleet force as I'd got quite bored of that. I also wanted to have something that contrasted with my regular opponents' armies. Given that Matt's Shaltari are purple, Wes's PHR are blue, Mike's Scourge are black and Pete's got grey UCM and green PHR.

This left me with red (although its come out a bit orangey in the pictures), and, being lazy, I thought that the new contrast paints would save me a lot of work.

This was not the case.

Being cheap, I elected to avoid buying the ridiculously expensive 'specially formulated' spray paint, I experimented with sprays I already had.

Firstly, Army Painter white, not only came out too thick the first time (I'm not a fan of AP sprays) and the miniatures needed stripping. Then, when I'd done them again, the Fleshtearers Red came out a bit pinky. Time to strip again.

Then I tried a Humbrol Sea Grey, however this turned out too dark and you couldn't actually see any contrast.

Finally, having only done one of the transports, I elected to try dry brushing white over the grey before applying the contrast paint. This worked (too an extent, you can't really see it in the photos) and all that was left was to pick out details and apply washes, including Hexwraith Flame for the 'eyes' and weapons, as necessary.

All in all, I'm quite satisfied with them. I still have three flying transports to paint, but now I've worked out what I'm doing they should be quite quick once it's dry enough to use spray paints again.

I'll still need to pick up a command unit before I can field a game legal army, but adding individual units in Dropzone is much easier than batch painting.

I've also managed to pass on a free sprue from Wargames Illustrated to Mike and so things are once again moving in the right direction. However, I have a bad feeling that tomorrow might really hurt my tally...

Acquired: 206
Painted: 219

All that remains is to wish you and yours a happy Christmas. I'll see you on the other side for my round up of the year.

Saturday 14 December 2019

It's In My Nature

I'm a bit cheap.

You may have noticed.

I'm always looking for ways to save a bit of money in this hobby, and use things for more than one project. And so when the fact that Modiphius Games were selling the Fallout starter set at half price on Black Friday, I jumped at it. I'd been looking for some inspiration for post-apocalyptic gaming beyond Mad Max, and this fit the bill. 

The trouble is that the Fallout miniatures are really rather expensive, and so, as is my way, I looked for items in the lead pile that could expand my collection without breaking the bank...

A giant scorpion, or radscorpion in Fallour terms.

This model is from Crooked Dice and I picked it up as part of their Apocalypse Kickstarter earlier in the year.

I've painted it to fit with my giant ants as part of a big bug cast for 7TV, but it's also on the correct base size for Fallout.

Modiphius have actually released the unit cards for their first wave of models as a free pdf, which means I'll have no trouble using this in games.

Ultimately though, a giant scorpion has many potential uses (not quite as many as a giant spider), from ancient mythology to superhero adventures, so I'm sure this will get plenty of use.

It's only one painted, and I've also taken delivery of another miniature for my He-Man project this week, so the gap stays the same. The Fallout box has been wrapped up for Christmas, and so I'm not counting those models as acquired yet.

Painted: 211
Acquired: 207

Saturday 7 December 2019

Rolling Off The Production Line

One of my favourite things about the Terminator: Genisys game from River Horse is that even when I'm in a bit of a slow period for painting, I can still churn out a few T-800s to get back in the groove.

Here are six more...

Painted: 211
Acquired: 206