Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Terrain Add-ons and Warmonger Peekaboo

Glued the longer/simpler buttresses on the taller 'suburban' structures.

Had enough for 8 bases worth which is all but 3 of the 2-storey or more pieces.
The other 3 pieces have multiple skinny structures per base, so at least 16 prints required per piece, and i didn't print that many.  Just remembered i have half a roll of ABS i shelved in disgust a while ago.
I'm actually not minding the variation - which is the purpose of the exercise anyway. 

There are also a few (circa 3) low buildings as well, and these will also remain unadorned.

Am currently filling gaps with the add-ons and will then repainting the structures, so they're on the paint desk. So is the Warmonger - which gives an idea of sizes and scales. Might actually be pretty good.

[update 20190318: the structure painting/finishing has been done and boxed. looks good/as planned but not spectacular enough to warrant a picture.]

Until next time...

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Church Rework

Finished off the buttress add-ons to the eccelesiasty buildings.

Not disappointed with the result, in fact i think they add more than i'd envisaged - even when modelling them up. 

The rooves were also getting a bit tatty so they got a new coat of leadbelcher followed by 2 washes of coelia greenshade and then 2 washes of null oil.

Also recoated the base edges with steel legion drab.

In other brief news:

- navigator mcbig-hat now has blocked in main colours. awaiting washes.
  [later 20190318: done]

- the warmonger titan is getting some leadbelcher. really highlighting the striation. will need some filler and sandpaper work.  
- the plastic roll is all used up. printed off some long buttresses sets for some of the 'suburban' buildings. probably enough for 8-10 buildings.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Printing - Little Jobs, Big Jobs

[original draft 2019-02-27]

[several revision later as projects progress]
I went from a small smattering of jobs to several projects on the go at the same time.

A bit of BSF painting...
Finished painting eldar shadowsomething. Nothing spectacular but happy enough with the result. looks better in real life.

Have started on the next character piece; pious flamethrower. Black base coat done and working on the basic blocking colours.
[later] Finished painting pious flamethrower.

Have placed navigator mcbig-hat on the paint table.

Printing 'a' - real stuff...
I recently printed some 'real life' prints for a buddy of mine. Tool shop stuff for routers and air extractors and what not.
Anyway, knowing that the print quality was absolute rubbish i pulled the printer apart a bit (not too much) but enough to find that the y-axis was missing a screw and the other screw that was there was held in by friction... not a nut.
Tightened things back up and glued bits in to make doubly sure.

Printed off the tool shop pieces which were rather large, and it all went scarily problem-free. About an 8hr print for the larger piece.

Printing 'b' BFG Transports...
Following that, printing off some transport ships for BFG. These are only really used for 'scenario' games - i.e. you protect a convoy as it travels edge to edge across the board etc...   these make up the convoy needing protection.... halp may, halp may.
They'll see precious little use compared to any fleet. Will probably put them on 'real' BFG bases as there's no need to swap them around or waste transparents on them. plus i have plenty of spares from the eldar project.
[later] transport ships all printed, glued and awaiting inspiration. 7 sets of 2 ships.

Still on gothic...
[later later] I went to wire-cut the imperial navy foam tray and no joy. Given it's plugged into a wall socket it's not the battery. The wire just isn't heating up - the 'hot-stick' however, is.
Can pull the component apart i guess [yawn]. I'm also contemplating looking for a larger wall-wart and upping the power.
[after that]  
it appears that the pin-socket connection in the detachable plug-in bit aren't connecting well.
found the power box for (probably) my old printer. 19v 6amp. Safe to say that when the ends were placed across the wire the was a glow like a small wirey sun for a second then it evaporated.
back to the drawing board.

Printing 'c' Epic Emperor Titan...
I also decided it would be an idea to try printing an emperor titan - because... i can.
Been contemplating it for a while and decided to pull the trigger.
The theory is use a 28mm knight legs, lower torso and other bits as appropriate; then print the specialised main torso bit.   All files c/o thingiverse.
At the moment i have files for a 'warmonger' titan, which is a variation of an emperor but with different armaments, more a ranged platform with a more versatile armament selection.
Probably could mock up some 'spires' and do a 'true' emperor.  [later: didn't happen, probably won't]

There was a recommendation or suggestion on thingiverse that this type of configuration worked fine. we'll see.

Compared to MY marines/guards my other titans are actually a decent scale, so perhaps the Emperor will work as well.  It's meant to be big... just not sure if it will be too big for my table terrain.
[later] Torso printed. came out ok. stuck to the build plate well. ran in draft mode at 150% speed hoping to trick it into not pausing (didn't work - re New Printing Issues later).

[later later]  This thing is frickin colossal. i'm not saying it's not to (tru)scale but it's big. Like when you see the 28mm knights they're pretty big right, but next to an Epic building they're crazy big.

Just found and interesting picture and even the original model was pretty big. dunno.

A side-by-side with the warlord, warhound and a knight demonstrated that the scale is actually sane.

I guess the main issue i have with the scale is that it's going to be towering over EVERY bit of terrain on the board (and most boards i've played on).
That said (there's always a that said!!) the buildings i have created are meant to be 'small', kind of little outpost structures rather than gargantuan hab-blocks or hive cities.

So, here we see all the raw printed bits in situ. Warhound for comparison... sit... good boy.

Have started the clean up, which will be a slow process (not like there's a rush or, in fact, that i will ever use it). Lightly sanding, filling with epoxy and plaster-filler. Generally trying to get it presentable, and hopefully without too much striation.
With luck i'll manage to scrounge some gubins and widgets form the bit-box to glue in appropriate places and take away from the large flat surfaces a bit too.
Bit difficult to tell how much of that will be required with stark white plastic and black paints. However, black is good for checking how the plaster filler is going.
The 8-shot rocket launcher (right hand weapon) is pretty much my own model design. Was originally planning on subbing a standard gattling model, but the missile launcher is what makes a warmonger and warmonger.
Each of the 8 'missiles' uses the top of a deathstrike missile glued onto a gattling barrel. hopefully will look ok.  Less of a ICBM, and more of a pointy stick-grenade on steroids.
Also, as per the warhound scale pic the original hydra cannons (AA ones on the top turrets) were way too large. Found the hydra (vehicle) ones on thingiverse and rescaled to 112.5%. Better aesthetics i think.

Printing 'd' BSF cover...
Printed out a bunch of the BFS 'cover' barriers/barricades.
These are just simple/thin wall shapes. I always forget to apply cover rules when i play. I'm sure a physical wall would help remind me.
Should have enough to cover any scenario/combat map in the deck.   I put all the tiles down with as many cover bits as possible upward and made sure they were all accounted for.  should be enough. Will probably finish these with a blue/black gloss finish at some stage.

[later 20190318: in situ, not painted yet. soon.]

Printing 'e' Epic building enhancements...
Decided that my epic buildings needed buttresses.
The plan was always to make simple building then go back and embellish them later.
Have printed off some bearable ones for the 'Ecclesiasty' buildings, aka churches. 
Will attempt to also add some aquillas and bits and bobs while i'm at it.
Have added some plaster filler to neaten a few things up since they're getting reworked.
[update: so the little sticky out bits at the bottom corners of the walls. buttresses. nominally flying buttresses.
These ones (pictured) have got some texture paint on them so must have gone just base colour on these one.
Will need a little bit of re-basing as well.]

Don't think i'll have enough plastic for buttresses for all the 'apartment' type buildings (the plainer, more boring ones).  Am using the last of the plastic making as many as i can - not worried if some are and some aren't enhanced. 

New Printing Issues
Anyway so the printer is behaving itself. or at least it kinda is. for some reason it has taken to 'pausing' mid-print (one thing after another, no). you can resume the print and it carries on where it left off (though i had to do this twice for one job - emperor leg components).
One can correctly assume that i find this annoying.
Not sure if it's gcode file or hardware related. don't really care either.
Annoying because you have to be around to ensure the job continues, which i kind of do in case it slips off the base, but yeah, just another niggle.

Printed out the emperor torso took quite some time. there were 2 stops which really pissed me off.
First one at 0.3mm so barely started. The second one after 'printing all night' at about 60%. So after removing a blob of melt it finished without another stoppage.
Unreliable. perhaps the fact that i've only ever run small jobs has hidden this issue and it was always problem. dunno.

Printing Sayonara ?
Basically... i'm just looking to finish off the roll of plastic. it's gone pretty nasty and with the hot days/roll tension it's consistently snapping during the 'non-print-hours', so i have to reset/re-feed it every session.

Anyway after this roll is done i think my print career will be taking an indefinite hiatus.

Might take a run at resin at a later stage, but for now... i have what i need and am finding the process more annoying than educational/exhilarating.

Until next time...

Monday, 11 February 2019

A Little Bit o' Painting - Blackstone Traitor Guard

been busy, but not a lot of hobby stuff though. here's what i've been working on.

BSF - Traitor Guard Done

After finishing off the (required; imperial/marines) BF Gothic fleets the main thing left of the table (until i shuffle something else up there) is Blackstone models.

The traitor guard finally got some solid brush-time and ended up 'organically good'.  lots of base colours, then lots of washes, then lots of dry brushing. seemed to go to plan.

batch painting eeeeerg,  but anyway, done.

they are more or less based on the official painting guide - at least the major tones/blocks. substituted whatever paint i had that was more of less the same hue.
Above is one squad worth. they're on 15mm bases as they are base type small (same as ur-ghuls, spindle-bots etc). the base manufacturer only does metric rounded to nearest 10mm (sometimes 5mm) far as i can tell. does the job.

And this is all of them.

The only really 'modelling' changes were removing the ground debris - rocks etc attached to boots  and the two sergeants are now slightly different from each other - one has the 'back spikes' and the other has a skull next to his boot.

reasonably pleased with the result - read: as much effort as i could be bothered with.

[later: just occurred to me to add a small 'trim' colour to differentiate the squads more easily (red v blue etc).]

this leaves me with just the beastmen and psykers from the hostiles to do!! kind of exciting, really getting through them now.

and of course the explorers/characters. the elf is still on the table (getting there... slowly). i think they're taking longer as they're one-of pieces so more brush washes and changes to get just one model done. will get there eventually. looking forward to a game soon (maybe today [maybe not]), and no excuse now all the 'basic' level hostiles are done.

as an aside, there is a small thread of local interest in the game. a couple of people i know (in passing) are playing and i wouldn't mind getting a multi-person game in if possible.

Other - BFG - eldar fleet...
Continuing work on the eldar BFG ships. Am painting up all the cruisers as a batch. not 100% convinced on the colours but that's a recurring theme. slow progress. lots of dry brushing (which is slow work).
[later: sample model]

Other - BFG  - NC roadtrip...
Might head up to newcastle for Feb session. Looks like there might be some BFG happening so might be worth the trip.

Re Epic Factions
This is going to sound like a half-whine but it's not meant to be. More a contemplation of something (vaguely) humorous i thought about....

So epic has a number of different factions. This is a good thing IMO as it makes the armies/factions/models more representative of what they're meant to be like in the fluff (fiction).
It's actually a nice thing to be able to run 'hordes' or 'air assault' or 'armoured' or 'skimmers' or 'titans' yada yada...

I've mentioned before that one of my biggest hurdles with the game is that 4 our of 5 times i'm not going to know what the opponent's army does (and i've also heard this comment from other people too) so you're faced with 'tricks' that your army has no counter for etc. You're fighting blind.

I've been playing a lot of chess recently and while the static nature of the pieces is (or at least used to strike me as) a little dull, it does mean that everyone knows what everyone else is capable of doing. Therefore it's intrinsically more of a strategic endeavour, rather than a 'bag-o-tricks' game (which i hate... ask 'Infinity').
It could always be argued that you need to learn what the opponent has... which is not practical/feasible given;
a) so few games per annum, 
b) number of list in a tournament, 
c) the theoretical nature of such a study,
d) etc

Anyway i was contemplating what chess would be like if you could sub-in 'trick' pieces - and it might looks something like...

during setup...
opponent: "i'm swapping my queen for a dark cardinal."
me: "errrr ok."
opponent: "and i'm swapping my king's knight with an enchanted unicorn."
me: "hmmmmm."
opponent: "and you're running... standard from the looks of it?"
me: "yeah."

during game play - first move...
opponent: "my dark cardinal takes your queen."
me: "what ?!  how ?!"
opponent: "dark cardinal can jump over any other pieces of lesser points value at any time."
me: "what?"
opponent: [scrambles briefly through army list pages]
me: "fine. then my king takes your dark cardinal."
opponent: "no, you can't take a dark cardinal by moving horizontally after it's just taken a piece horizontally. or diagonally if it's just taken diagonally. so you can only take it by moving diagonal now."
me: "what ?!"
opponent: "it's in the army list."
me: "fine. so nothing can take it where it is at the moment. how is this not checkmate ?"
[eyes start glazing over]
opponent: "the dark cardinal alternates..." [looks up army sheet, and taps on page] "...moving horizontally and diagonally to take pieces. so next time it can only take a piece by moving diagonally."
[annoyed pause]
"here, i'll put down a token so you can see which one it has just done."
me: [rolls eyes]

a little later...
opponent: "now my enchanted unicorn takes your rook. and also your other rook."
me: [eye roll]
"uhhuh... why?"
opponent: "a unicorn can make two consecutive moves, which gets him across the board here and here. and because it's also enchanted it removes any pieces from the square on the mirror side of the board if it's also occupied."
me: [flips board in disgust and vows never to play this stupid game again]

Until next time...

Sunday, 3 February 2019

BFG Fleets - eldar, imperial reinforcements, marine foam

in summary:  eldar. imperials done. marine foam tray. 

eldar - how i used up all my hobby luck for the year

australia day long weekend. went to canberra as per standard MO.
didn't play cancon but did pop in a couple of times. kind of miss it. kind of don't.

last year i picked up a box of original/metal ork ships. basically a very worthwhile starter fleet. haven't done anything with them just yet but they're in the queue to do.

anyway, got there close to opening time, and the place i got them from (a stall in the main section, not the bring-n-buy) had a box of eldar ships as well (which i saw last year and decided not to get). STILL THERE!

as i grabbed the case, i cheered (internally of course - in case there were other bits i'd overlooked previously. no point gathering attention). i cheered a lot.

all original models, all complete, painted even.

given the renewed interest i'd have thought they might have hit ebay by now but i'm guessing the seller didn't know what they had, didn't realise what they were for, didn't know about the resurgence, or didn't care and 2nd had stuff can take care of itself.
anyway they're now mine. woohoo!

think i've used up all my hobby luck for the year so i'll be rolling 1s for everything except leadership tests (bring on the double 6's, i love it!!). 

i've started stripping the paint off the models. first time doing this and opted for dettol bath (the cup in the zip-lock bag to reduce smell).

seems to work ok. am getting a bit of sticky residue here and there - apparently caused by water. avoid.

started with the small ships as tests and then continued because they're fiddly. all the big ships to go. might need a bigger cup.

am going to go a screaming skull base. some kind of wash to add texture. then highlights of a light (apple/teal) green and possibly black (maybe a super-dark orange). haven't seen a colour scheme like this before but i'm hoping it'll work.

am not going to have enough x-wing sticks for all of these. am putting off getting more until the ships are further along.

paint stripping (round 1) is done. have chucked all the smaller ships and bits back in the pint (graduated from little glass tumble to pint glass) of dettol for another parse.

there is a bit much sticky residue for my liking and hopeful another dunk will shift it. am hoping not to need turps. 

all the cruisers with some base coat happening...
these now have x-wing sticks. definitely not going to have enough.  

imperials done - new battleship

the final imperial ship is done... the ironically named majestic-class battleship. 

this will most likely be my flag ship for the (already started) campaign we have going on.

the majestic-class is basically a emperor-class with the left/right weapons batteries swapped out for lances instead.
anyway, she's done.

i'm very unlikely to have enough room on one tray for all of these...

marines foam tray

had a note in the door saying something arrived. had enough time to pop out to pick it up. hot wire cutter!

results are not overly pretty but should do the job. pretty much as planned.

Theoretically i'll be doing up an imperial one (and for the other fleets too). i'm not sure there will be enough space for everything.

For the eldar fleet there are a loooooot of little ships, and the big ones are big vertically as well.

The imperials just squeezed on to the preliminary layout but once there's a bit of padding around the ship i'm pretty sure they're just not going to fit.

am considering a couple of things (mainly re imperial fleet at the moment);
i) i could go a bigger box. i have plenty of the larger boxes around.
ii) i could make the trays specific. as in they would hold 1 battleship, 3-5 cruisers + escorts... so enough for a specific list for a game but possibly not all the ships all the time. 
iii) tray for capital ships, tray for escorts. they should/might be able to sit 2 high in the box. 

marines - campaign 

worth mentioning that last thursday we had a game at north ryde. marines first run on the table and managed to secure a victory.

we're playing a campaign so more going on than just blasting away. scenarios are fun. 

marines had to step up as the imperials weren't quite table-worthy. 

Until next time...

Monday, 21 January 2019

Like Old School Traditional - Chess

[original draft 2019-01-17]

Wanted to take the opportunity to post up some excellent work from a friend of mine. Too good not to show-and-tell.

At the end of last year i got into my head to get an oversized chess set for my partner as a birthday present (which turned into an xmas present, which turned into a joyous-back-to-work-tidings present). Whenever we (infrequently) go away and stay at hotels there's often chess boards around and we end up having a game. 

After a brief look around i only found one place that does 'large' sets locally but none of their stock had that 'it' factor. Obviously, online search followed and there were some (but not a whole lot of) intriguing works.

So talked to a mate of mine who does art-level woodworking (...that's high btw) about perhaps having one made.
Plans were set and i whipped up a concept in sketechup, which received a counter sketch, and some design discussions.
BTW, this is based on an existing set from someone on... etsy (...possibly... maybe). There are several modifications, similarities as well, but IMO enough to make it not flat-out plagiarism.

This turned into objects over the subsequent weeks...

Resulting in a (currently) unique work of art.

In situ...
The blonde colour palette was chosen to make the set stand-out better against the rest of the red/brown woods of the floors and furniture (of which this table is not a great example, whoops).

We have played several games, and i'm yet to lose a game, but suffice to say that we're both getting used to how chess works again.

Game 1; didn't last long...

Game 2; was a brutal bloodbath...

About Chess...
While i'm here... historically i've never really been a huge chess fan. Possibly the abstract aspect of the game engine lacks the fluffy flavour that stimulates my imagination in the way that tabletop war games do.

That said i've played more chess in the last few weeks than the prior two or three decades and have very much enjoyed the experience.

My biggest gripe with Epic is irreconcilable imbalances between various factions - this is entirely absent with chess (equal pieces, equal abilities).

Previously i'd found the chess environment restrictive, but treating the game as more of a logic puzzle rather than a battle narrative is making it quite enjoyable.

Additionally the absence of dice (which i inevitably roll poorly) is actually a nice change. If a gambit fails it's due to poor decisions and placement rather than shitty luck... which rates in as a big thumbs up.

Until next time...

A Few Models Here and There

Just sort of finishing a few little things off here and there.

Battlefleet Gothic

Pretty much done with a starter imperial fleet for a game buddy.

Had a great deal of difficulty working out colours but opted for strong gold features. Haven't seen something like this done before and not disappointed with the result.
Looks a bit washed out in the picture... poor lights for a change.
Was originally going with burnt orange features but it looked not so good. 
Hopefully this will be satisfactory.

Also re BFG: 
- finished the dictator cruiser, just awaiting the x-wing sticks. 
- got some foam for the insert fleet trays. awaiting assembly.
- still need to finish printing the bits for the majestic. 

Blackstone Fortress

Finished off the Negavolt cultists for BSF. These have been progressing over the last few days and finished off last night.
Was in the mood for a game yesterday but got sidetracked, but at least prompted the completion of these guys.

This is my collected progress for BSF so far. still plenty to go but at least i'm almost done with the 'beginner' hostiles and getting there with the commonly used characters.

Still working on the eldar ranger; entirely different colour set to the negavoltists so they didn't progress simultaneously. 

Will probably start on the traitor guard next. Looots of models (comparatively). batch painting. boring.

Until next time...