29 May 2011

WIP: Scales of Justice

Here's a quick sneak peak of the Scales of Justice – purely work in progress you understand – despite some more dodgy photography. Should have some better pictures of the crew to date at the end of the week.

21 May 2011

Death Marshals: part 2

Just a quickie post today to show you the finished Death Marshal number 1. He was completed last night whilst watching/listening to Deadwood season 1 in the background – the episode where Wild Bill gets shot! Again, apologies for the quality of the pics – I've lost my camera mojo it seems.

More work was done on Lady J also – only to discover in the cold light of morning that a minute amount of the stone grey on my mixing palette had somehow got into my skin mix and now she looks rather pale and undead. I'll have to fix her later today.

16 May 2011

Death Marshals: part 1

So you've seen the treatment given to The Judge in a previous post (albeit briefly) and I needed my Death Marshals to follow suit. I have managed to get a good look through a couple of the Miniature Mentor vids which have been very useful in opening my mind to new ways of painting. I had three Death Marshals in which to improve things, especially the overcoat – this is how things began.

I apologise for the photo quality. My spot lamp is being used at full strength so there's a harsh highlight in some of the pix.

The Marshal above is close to completion – he only needs his base and a few details finishing – though he doesn't like his photo taken it seems. The cloak was given a Beastial Brown basecoat then liberally washed in Devlan Mud as per the previous post. I wasn't particularly happy with where that was going so I gave it a watered down coat of Beastial Brown all over except the deep recesses. I then gradually added more and more Bleached Bone to the mix, maintaining a very watery consistency throughout, going over the coat again and again. The beauty of this approach is that you get get very subtle graduations and highlights/shadows without doing any actual blending. The result was a very light tan coloured coat which was a bit bright so I went back and gave the whole thing another watered down coat of Beastial Brown, re-coating until I was happy.

The second Death Marshal was started last night using the same technique. This time I watered down the paint even further and took the highlights lighter, without lightening the coat as a whole. It does need a little more work before knocking the whole thing back with the Beastial Brown.

When it comes time to do Death Marshal number 3 I shall try to get some step by step shots on the go to explain the procedure better.

In order to differentiate holsters and straps from the coat I used Scorched Earth as a starting point. The coffin featured in the opening picture used a mix of Beastial Brown and Snakebite Leather (50:50) as a starting point. Bleached Bone was added to highlight with a final highlight of Skull White.

To be continued…

The Opposition…

I was away in Manchester last week, putting up then taking down a client's exhibition stand at GMEX (or whatever they call it nowadays) so had no access to my painting table. This weekend was also out as my wife had arranged a nice getaway in the country which was fantastic. However, this did mean that it's been almost a week since paint was applied to any part of my Malifaux crew.

I did manage to get a little time last night and I think I have moved up a rung (just one!) on the painting skill ladder. One thing that 3x Death Marshalls and The Judge will help with is the painting of long sweeping overcoats and, thanks to a few vids I've seen recently, I applied some fresh techniques (for me) with very nice results. More on that in a later post.

While I was away I received an email from my Malifaux opponent Bull containing a couple of pix of his expanded Viktoria crew. As you can see, having done a boat-load of reading, he has gone for some Ronin and a Convict Gunslinger. Not sure what that means exactly for my own crew but no doubt there are some nasty tactics/actions/triggers in there somewhere.

Seems I have more reading to do…

09 May 2011

More Ebay auctions…

This weekend saw more of my back catalogue hitting the shelves of Ebay – this time books.

There are a handful of 40k codecies available – Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Daemons plus Planetstrike not to mention three Flames of War rulebooks, which I believe are quite difficult to get hold of these days.

Hidden amongst this little lot is an OOP Rackham gem – Rhazeem the Insane.

More coming over the next few weeks, but for now happy bidding!

The Dark Templar auctions at Ebay

As always if you're a visitor to this blog let me know after you've won the auction and I'll send you a revised invoice with a discount to p&p.

07 May 2011

First Blood with Malifaux…

So the beginning of this weekend was all about PLAYING Malifaux for the first time arther than just reading or talking about it.

The board was ready, we (myself and best man/gaming partner Bull) had dug out some semi-appropriate terrain from the massive 40k collection, models were painted – kind of – (actually my Scales of Justice wasn't even built properly and the Death Marshals were barely clothed, but who cares when you're out on your maiden voyage).

We actually got three games in over Friday evening and Saturday which has been a fantastic learning experience, if slow to start. I took some photos along the way, though they're not in any order they do show off the gaming board I think!

Game 1 on Friday night was a very slow affair (nearly 4 hours by my reckoning) and was full of mistakes on both sides, but fun none the less – the red wine helped. A good night's sleep and early morning bacon sarnie later and we were raring for Game 2 – infinitely faster, still contained mistakes but also had an element of strategy and tactics to our play. A fantastic lunch followed (thank you Mr. Bull) accompanied by gaming (and none-gaming) chat and we decide to squeeze in a Game 3 (outside in the sunshine!) before my trek back to the coast. Strategies and Schemes were decided and this became a very tactical affair and less of the pub-kicking seen in the previous games. Very few mistakes (we think), much better use of cheating fate and soulstones, though we're still in the learning curve.

So, outcomes and conclusions?

First of all we both agreed this is a fantastic game, and has so much potential for character/plot driven gaming it's all very exciting – I haven't had a gaming buzz like this in a very long time so thank you Wyrd! Virtually every member of your crew is an individual (certain in the case of the Viktorias' crew) so there's lots of individual rules to learn and remember, but the game is so much better for it.

The board and terrain worked exceptionally well. There have been plenty of creative chats over the last 24hrs about terrain moving forward and terrain-driven encounters, so that is exciting.

The crews worked well and provided plenty of entertainment, despite both being primarily melee orientated. I'm still trying to find a use for The Judge – he just didn't seem able to contribute much over the 3 games. Lady J is the absolute nuts in combat and I even had success with her pistols on occasion – she can be vulnerable in defence though so you have to pick your fights and not get outnumbered I think. Bull struggled a little with Bishop, although we both agreed the potential was there. We didn't see much of Johan and he was put on the sub's bench after the first game to give the Vikki's more soulstones. Taelor was rather fantastic and I think Lady J has built up a bit of a grudge against her thanks to the pain she's been over these games! Bull also took issue with the sword Vikki miniature and more specifically the hand joints which kept falling off they were so delicate.

Very eager now to get painting the rest of the crew – Lady J and even The Judge looked good but the rest looked awful on the table (hence few photos). I'm also keen to try new units but I won't make any fresh purchases until this little lot is complete.

02 May 2011

Malifaux Board: part 4

Malifaux Board: part 3
Malifaux Board: part 2
Malifaux Board: part 1 

I had planned the layout of the board quite a few weeks ago.

The original idea behind the project was to have a Malifaux board that would represent the downtown or more built up areas of the city, as this is something that doesn't seem to have been covered much – people mainly sticking to wild west, bayou or outland terrain.

Why a big X? I wanted the board to be a crossroads of sorts – kind of like The Five Points district in Gangs of New York. In order to ensure the join between the two halves of the board didn't appear down the middle of one of the roads the "+" layout became a "x".

First thing I marked up the board with pencil lines and put down some brown/green to represent the areas for buildings/terrain. I then covered the road/pavement areas in a mid grey. Due to the volume of paint required I was using emulsion tester pots, mixed with a little gaming acrylic, rather than blow my entire paint collection.

With this done I cut a piece of foamboard to the required size and carved myself a stamp to represent the paving and edging. This involved marking the design on the foamboard, taking off the top layer of card (or some of it at least), and going at the design with a scalpel and a file. Once complete I covered the surface in light grey paint from a tester post and pressed onto the board – just like potato printing as a kid! The design was repeatable so that all the pavements could be printed seamlessly. I made an additional stamp for the corners where the roads met.

I gave this a half hour to dry while I carved out a stamp for the cobbles. This was done as a square so that the cobbles in the side roads would match the main road in orientation – with hindsight I might've decided not to do this. Using the same method as the pavements, the cobbles were printed using the new stamp.

And there we have it. I have to admit I like where it is going, and the potato printing technique worked out better than I thought it would. The distressed, graphic look of the paving is great and ideal for Malifaux. I have a couple of ruined buildings and a stack of terrain to fill the areas next to the roads – I intend to build a graveyard using GW trees soon specifically for this board.

A couple of things to note – the board is not finished, the grey paint used was a bit too light and is quite busy on the eye, so I want to go back in with my full paint set and give the board more depth, highlights/shadows, some washes and details. However, for the purposes of the game this weekend I am happy – my poor wife has had to put up with the boards dominating the kitchen area for a couple of weeks now, so if nothing else it's time to give her a break.

There are things I would do differently if I were to attempt this again, but nothing major. The next time you see this board should be a post game report and then again when I get round to adding more paint.

I hope you enjoyed this project (so far) as much as I have and if you try something yourself do let me know – I'd love to see how someone else tackled it.

01 May 2011

Malifaux Board: part 3

Malifaux Board: part 2
Malifaux Board: part 1

Things had been going pretty well with the boards this far so I shouldn't have been suprised when I had a bit of a 'mare when it came to the paint stage.

I had banked on my can of textured spray to give the boards a light coat that could be painted over. Unfortunately the nails I'd used were larger than necessary and insisted, in some cases, to sit proud of the playing surface which would not do at all. The can of textured spray made no impact on this issue and indeed failed to cover both boards with sufficient texture at all. My solution was to use some filler and a palette knife to disguise the protruding nails and add additional texture dotted around to hide the filled nails(!).

I then resorted to a tried and tested route of covering the whole board in some leftover emulsion paint (in this case "Toasted Almond") with some basing sand mixed in to add texture. This did a great job of covering both boards and unifying the filler. Only problem was there was now too much texture for a cobbled city street – would have been fantastic for a wild west environment – so I quickly sanded down the worst of it and got rid of any stones or large clumps of sand.

I then went to get some paint to start the dressing up of the boards – Craig and Rose's 1829 period colour range from B&Q "Clove Brown". Unfortunately the tester pot I'd bought wasn't really enough to cover the lighter beige underneath in one coat, leaving streaks.

Whilst I left the boards to dry I had a think and came up with the next stage of the painting plan. I took the remains of the Clove Brown paint and mixed it in a roller tray with some black artists' acrylic and a reasonable amount of water. I then coated the boards thoroughly in this dark wash to knock everything back and give me a decent basecoat from which to start painting the details. By pure chance it worked out quite well – if only I'd have thought more about it sooner I could have avoided unnecessary expense and effort.

Malifaux Board: part 4