30 April 2011

Malifaux Board: part 2

Malifaux Board: part 1
Nothing else got done after the last post before we went away for Easter.

First thing this morning I was out to get the remaining bits of wood needed to finish the second half of the board. I had ordered some 15mm magnets from Ebay that arrived this morning also, so it was full steam ahead. Unfortunately the wind had really picked up today, so there was sawdust blowing everywhere and dowling pegs being blown off the table into the gaps in the decking – grrr.

By early afternoon the two boards were complete including the magnets. I had concerns that the magnets would be too powerful and/or cause problems if the holes on either board didn't line up exactly. I need not have worried as the boards snap softly together and allow a little movement to align them exactly.

My woodworking skills are a little rusty since high school (some 20+ years ago) so at the moment the frames don't quite sit flat. A bit of sanding down will solve that but I'll wait till a less windy day. Similarly I had my can of texture spray paint ready for the next stage but it would be futile trying to spray in this weather.

Hopefully I can progress things a little more tomorrow – need to make sure all the nails are flush and then coat the boards with texture so I can begin painting on Monday – fingers crossed!

Malifaux Board: part 3

20 April 2011

Malifaux Board: part 1

Ok, I said I'd blog the progress on my Malifaux board, so here we go – not much to see yet.

I've cut my hardboard into two 3'x1.5' pieces – so when put together they make up a 3'x3' playing area. I managed to get a frame pinned under one board before it went dark, but the other one will have to wait.

I'm going to try and get that done tomorrow evening, however we'll be mad busy getting ready to go "up north" to visit the family first thing Friday – and the mother-in-law is round for dinner – so it's not looking good. Looking more likely to be done on Bank Holiday Monday in just over a week's time.

Going to experiment with some large magnets, glued into the frames, to get the two boards to 'snap' together.

Once that's done I have a tin of textured spray paint to cover the playing side – not too textured though – to help cover the nails and get a uniform surface to paint up. Got a template drawn up for some cobbled streets which will do.

Malifaux Board: part 2

17 April 2011


After an afternoon at Salute yesterday Lady Justice got a bit more attention, to the point she is almost complete. I want to redo her skin and add some more shadows to her hair. I also need to finish her sword handle and part of a holster I missed!

The Judge got some time last night too, plus a bit more today. I had to stop as I am struggling to identify a couple of bits on his weapon and boots – bit of picture searching later on to resolve that. His cloak came out quite well after a lot of work, and I managed to pull his hair round after it was in a real state. His jeans were painted to match Justice, as will the Death Marshals'. My attempt at nmm is improving, but I've decided to stick with it for a couple of reasons – 1. I'm stubborn and really want to crack it and 2. I think the comic book feel it adds is great and would be lost going back to metallic paint, though I nearly caved last night.

The Death Marshals have been waiting patiently for their turn under the spotlight, and they each got 5 minutes this afternoon as I added some layers to their cloaks. It's all looking a bit ropey at the moment, but I'm not worried as this is how The Judge's looked 24 hours ago.

I also have my first game(s) booked in the diary for the beginning of May so there is a deadline. Unfortunately I am away for two weeks between now and then, so I get a couple of evenings this week and a couple the week I get back before show time. If I can get the Judge and Justice finished and varnished I'll be happy – not too worried about the Marshals, and I don't want to rush them.

I also want to build a 3x3 gaming board for the game – just the board, no terrain – which will dent my painting time available. I have board cut to size, and I have a painting plan. If everything goes as I would like it should look pretty cool and I will of course blog all about it's construction.

16 April 2011

Salute 2011

So it's all done for this year.

I have to say it was a bit of a disappointment given that it is only my second year of going. A lot of the displays were the same boards as last year, though the scale of new demos seemed to be getting bigger. Myself and Bull were discussing how, considering the hobby by its very nature is creative, there was nothing particularly creative about what was on show – with the odd exception.

The prize for most dull looking game goes to some kind of historical battle where units were represented by what can only be described as large blocks of fudge – like you see in seaside towns. If every game were a massacre on both sides (and you had to eat your dead forces) I could understand the appeal, but how can you buy into the character of your troops (or give a toss about their well being) when they are represented by 5"x2" blocks of brown/grey solid plastic. Very dull indeed we thought.

There were a couple of good demo boards and lots of other stuff to see, including quite a few freelance sculptors and painters which was excellent. As expected there were plenty of retailers which was fantastic. The GW presence was remarkably low key which, considering this is the premier show for the industry in the UK, was a little surprising.

The main beacon of light was the Eden stand. A demo board with a ruined fairground was a genius idea and they had some of the best painted miniatures in the place (including the one at the top of the blog). Click on the images to see them bigger.

There were a handful of Malifaux boards which was nice to see. Unfortunately we didn't get to sit down and get a tutorial – it was quite busy, which was a shame.

On the flip side I manged to convince Bull to purchase a starter set – he went with the Viktorias – and we have a pencilled in game day, just have to check with our respective social secretaries (the married guys out there will know what I'm taking about).

I got away with just a couple of purchases – the Rising Powers book and the Scales of Justice model – though it was touch and go for a while (the Battlefoam Malifaux bag was calling to me…).

I got home and immediately got to adding more paint to the Lady, so she is almost finished now (thanks to Andy from Lair of the Breviks for the tips – greatly appreciated). I'd better get a move on – I have a game to paint for!

Now, if I could just wash this stamp off the back of my hand…

15 April 2011

The Lady…

So after a couple of days away from the painting table I was eager to try and pull things around. My strategy was to concentrate on the crew a figure at a time, giving each one the attention it deserves before moving on – kind of goes against lessons learned after years of painting space marines.

Naturally Lady Justice was front of the queue. Her jeans were in decent shape, so I went to town on her boot armour: Beastial Brown with a spot of Chaos Black through to Snakebite Leather and a spot of Bleached Bone. Her top and gloves got a Necron Abyss/Chaos Black basecoat, highlighted by adding more Codex Grey to the mix. Her sword got the famous Blood Angel armour treatment seen elsewhere on this blog, albeit with lesser highlighting. Her varous belts and holsters were treated with the same Beastial Brown treatment as the boots but with highlight of progressively more Bleached Bone so as to look different.

Finally I gave her pistols and sword a quick NMM attempt using Codex Grey and Skull White. Not totally convinced by it yet, needs a bit more work. However, considering I just rattled it out it's ok for now.

I'm pleased that things have turned slightly for the better after this evening's session. I'm slowly getting my painting mojo back. As I said the metal needs work and I'm still not happy with the skin (or her hair for that matter), but it's all heading in the right direction.

Salute tomorrow – very much looking forward to it – we will see how strong my will is. I just have a funny feeling I'll end up coming home with another crew!

11 April 2011

My first Malifaux crew

This weekend was quite productive despite a whole afternoon and evening dedicated to the pursuit of beer, and the entire morning the following day in the pursuit of sleep and a painless head. Undercoated the Death Marshals and got the first bit on colour on Lady Justice and The Judge. I decided pretty early on not to go with the white coat scheme for The Judge – I wanted him to look more of a Death Marshal leader than some shiny individual, want my crew to have more of a unified look to it.

To say these weren't my best painted miniatures would be an understatement. Six months away from the paint table, after twelve months of nothing but marines does not prepare you for painting a slender, busty, blindfolded assassin with more hair than clothes. I also think that my enthusiasm to get started on these lovely miniatures got the better of me and I didn't plan my approach very well. But it's all a learning curve – they will look great on a gaming table, and if I don't get to play them I can always buy individual replacement models and sell these on Ebay.

Hopefully a bit more paint this week before Salute at the weekend. I must try and not buy any more models while there, but the temptation may be too great. I do hope to pick up the expansion rulebook and maybe a carry case of some description.

08 April 2011

The story so far…

 Over the last three or four weeks I've been trying to decide which new games sytem to look at. The main driving force will be the miniatures – you have to enjoy what you're painting or else you will run out of enthusiasm very quickly… one thing I have learned and continue to be reminded of – I won't get much playing time so the minis have to be the main focus.

As I mentioned before I am currently designing the rulebook for Critical Mass so used that as an excuse to order several different books from various sources, all in the name of research. Then I sat back to await the influx of parcels. The order list included Infinity v2, MERCs, Warmachine v2 and Malifaux. MERCs was coming direct from the States so wasn't expecting that for a good week or so; Warmachine arrived the next day from Firestorm Games in Cardiff; Infinity and Malifaux rulebooks were coming from Wayland Games and after a fortnight still hadn't arrived. Frustrated, I ordered the Malifaux A5 rules manual from Firestorm (having been so impressed by their speed of service so far) – it arrived the next day!

After lots of reading and net research I was ready to start building and painting – just about the time my Malifaux starter crew arrived from Maelstrom Games (took about a week). Lady Justice is an awesome model, as are the rest of her crew. I found the models quite delicate kinda like Rackham's so some of the pieces took a lot of effort to stick securely. I had also ordered some resin bases especially for these guys, from Fenris Games, and after a couple of evenings had the models ready.

A spray of black primer yesterday morning before work and we're pretty much ready to go. I have to say I'm really looking forward to painting these models.

As for the other rulebooks, they have all arrived now and I've had a good look through. Warmachine was good, but I've played that in the past so there were few surprises there. The MERCs rulebook is beautiful and although expensive to have sent over I went through it cover to cover. Their miniatures are equally as stunning but I just wasn't taken by the rules. Similarly with Infinity, fantastic models but the rules were confusing and the rulebook (as nice as it was) was all over the place and very difficult to follow. Shame really, but I think I have found my next project.

03 April 2011

Been a long time coming…

Well hello again.

It's been quite a while since I last posted – about the same amount of time since I last picked up a paint brush. Anyone who knows me a little will know that I've been playing WoW since the cataclysm expansion was released (mainly due to being easy to pick up and put down as I don't have a dedicated modelling area). Maintaining my enthusiasm for 40k – indeed anything GW related – has been quite a battle over the last 6-9 months as I'm just not that excited by it anymore, to be blunt. I'm just not liking where it's all going – the models, the rules, the cost.

After a lot of soulsearching I have decided to sell everything – almost. My ongoing Dark Templar figures will stay along with a few OOP models I've always had earmarked for them, but everything else will hit Ebay over the next 6 months – including the Blood Angels many of you saw coming to life, my Nurgle marine project that never really got going, and my long-serving Iron Warriors that will break my heart to see go.

Anyone interested in owning some/any of these models should bookmark my ebay link. This week it is mostly WH Fantasy stuff, but the 40k items will be up in the next few weeks – probably after the Easter break. I will post again nearer the time to give you folks a heads up.

So am I quitting the models completely?  Err…no.

I am currently in the process of designing the Critical Mass Games rulebook (not the actual rules just the layout/graphics/etc.) because, well, I'm a graphic designer. Part of the prelim process was to research other rulebooks, many of which I actually own or have owned a copy of over the years. What I realised was how fantastic some of these games are, and how I'd forgotten that caught up in the GW marketing machine. I like the idea of playing skirmish level games – we don't have the sapce or the time for anything else – and they need very few models that can have care and attention lavished on them. I don't feel the need to convert them because they are beautiful in their own right. In particular my old Rackham collection stood out, as well as the current Malifaux range. I have been putting together a Guild crew on custom bases and look forward to painting them.

With Salute 2011 coming up in less than a fortnight I can safely say there will be more purchases made. Photos will follow for the blog and hopefully the odd game now and again.