12 September 2013

Malifaux: New Rasputina Plastic Starter

No more developments on the Gaming Board as we're in Ireland this week.

However, I thought I'd do an "inside the box" blog post – this time it's the Children of December starter set for Malifaux 2nd Edition.

I have to admit that my keen interest in Malifaux stalled around the time they switched from metal to plastic models, coinciding with book 4. I noticed that the new plastics felt very delicate compared to the metal models and wasn't convinced. My online GenCon purchases last year sealed it and I've never looked back.

When Malifaux 2nd Edition was announced my interest stirred and when I saw the imagery for the new crew box sets I was keen to see more. Shinybloodyitis struck at GenCon time last month and I ordered some bits, including the Rasputina "Children of December" plastic set.

The bits on the sprues seem very much as I remembered them a year ago – fragile – except the re-imagined Golem of course who really is a monster. The Gamin are very thin and delicate, not sure how much abuse they will take as their arms and legs are little bigger than the metal pins I use on larger models.

Rasputina came in six pieces and went together very easily. I'd be interested to see this model side by side with the original Raspy and I'm sure she's tiny compared to the metal version.

Next I decided to tackle the Golem. He was made up of 10+ pieces spread over a couple of sprues. Whilst he's a reasonably straightforward model to build it wasn't always obvious which piece went where – the picture doesn't help much and I was left with a piece over that seemed to have no home. Eventually I got him finished and he truly is a beast.

The Gamin were easy builds though just as spindly as predicted. The Wendigo, hmmm – I don't like the fact that he's got another model on his base that he's beating on (don't like the idea of a totem model being taller than its master) so I may clip him free from his victim and model him on some rocks instead.

The plastic is of good quality and there were minimal mold lines on the pieces. Very nice kit, just have to learn how to play the new Malifaux!

06 September 2013

Gaming Board: part 2

See part 1 here.

Armed with my materials, tools and a plan (I can hear the A-Team theme tune in my head) I set to building my gaming board. Given that it was raining heavily outside I decided to build it in the spare room, especially as my wife was out – I should have time to build and tidy up before she got back.

I'd already cut the sides of my frame the day before, following my plan, and allowing a couple of extra mm for tolerance. I marked up every part that needed guiding holes drilled for the screws, to ensure they went in where they were supposed to. Using the foam as my guide I began to screw the frame together.

My woodworking skills are rather basic. I can cut wood with a saw (but not very straight) and I can use a drill and screwdriver. I managed to build a shed over the course of the summer, so was feeling that I would take this project in my stride. However, accuracy is not my strong point, despite the best of intentions and plans – my manual skills fall a little short.

The bottom line is that once the frame was together, the foam no longer fitted inside, in spite of all my calculations. I had somehow made the frame a couple of mm too short on one side, from plan to reality. Easily solved though – I took a long metal ruler and a craft knife and carefully shaved off the required amount. The foam slotted in like a hand in a glove – perfect. Much better too big than too short – I'd hate the foam to slide around in there.

I decided to change the plan on the fly at this point. The wood I had to make the corner supports was too thin to drive a screw through I decided, so I cut more of the frame wood into triangle shapes for the corners. I marked these up to ensure my drill holes were in the right place.

I screwed them into place using a Lego brick as a temporary spacer to ensure they were all at the same height from the base. They went in surprisingly well and made the frame much more solid. I was using 40mm length screws throughout to make sure there was enough to grip the wood on either side of a join.

I made sure that the screws were sunk lower that the wood surface so that I can add filler or wood glue to hide the joins. I will probably paint the frame in a gloss paint, once everything has dried, to give it a clean look and make it more durable.

When the foam was dropped in again it now sat a good 20mm above the frame. A little more than in my original plan (due to using thicker wood in the corners) but I'm not concerned as I will be carving into the foam when I create the playing surface. This will obviously weaken the foam, given that there is a massive void underneath it, but it should be more than strong enough unless I'm using lots of large, heavy models on there. I could always drop in a square piece of hardboard underneath the foam to support it if required.

All told it took about an hour and a half from start to finish… and my wife turn up as I turned off the hoover!

Part 3…

04 September 2013

This Time Last Year… Joey Berry!

This time last year I was in the middle of my Tale of 3 Painters project.

The big event, prior to auctioning everything off for charity, was a trip down to Plymouth to visit You Tube starlet Joey Berry.

However, the day before our planned meet I set off on my trip and decided to take in the sights of Westham and Swindon 'on the way' to meet my fellow painters Michael Awdry and Andy Walker… got them to sign a Malifaux rulebook to boot. Great day, great guys, silly journey

The following day I got to meet Joey and we did a video interview about the models, the project and the auction. We were also meant to have a game of Malifaux at her local club, using the charity painted miniatures, but the club owners decided (the night before) that they couldn't open up as they'd promised so we missed out.

Instead Joey and myself found a nice quayside pub to sit outside and had a chat for a couple of hours. Before long it was time to start out on the trek back home.

Joey has now become an international superstar, doing You Tube reports from all over the world, as well as working at Creative Assembly. She now lives in Kent, not 40 minutes away (why didn't I wait a year!).

The auction itself did ok. We had some amazing contributors including Fenris Games, Firestorm Games, SnM Stuff, Element Games, KR Multicase and, of course, Wyrd Miniatures. I still can't quite get over the generosity. There were other companies that snubbed our requests… you know who you are! lol

I think choosing Malifaux as the game to paint models for limited the potential bidder audience but made for a great painting experience. The whole auction package went for over £500 in the end which was a nice finish to a long and testing project.

Still not getting the urge to do another one anytime soon, but never say never.

More gaming table posts next time…

+++++++++ Quick note for Jules81 +++++++++

Jules asked earlier this week about the 'potato printing' technique I used to create cobbles on my Malifaux board. Here goes…

pavement stamp

I took a piece of foamboard and cut into it to create a pavement/sidewalk 'stamp' (above).

cobble road stamp

I then lathered it in emulsion paint and pressed it onto the board surface to create a pavement/sidewalk print.

finished road

By repeating this process with different shaped stamps I created a crossroads with pavement/sidewalk for my board. By experimenting with the amount of paint you put on the foamboard stamp you get a more or less distressed pattern with your print.

Why potato printing? As a kid in school we used to do the same thing with half a potato – cut a shape into it and use paint to create repeating patterns or shapes.

That's it – so easy!