Thursday, December 8, 2011

Troop Troupe

All of the following figures have been painted for quite some time. I had intended to post them as soon as each squad/group was completed. But with all that has been going on in RL, I never got around to it. So, I present to you 5 different groups of minis that were used in our Dark Heresy campaign and most of them are eventually destined for my IG "Tattered Outpost Defense Force".

Pulp Figures Gasmask Cultists 1 plus a Weird Villain
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These cultists are my least favorite of this posting. I wanted the "purple" robes to be a black-purple and it horribly failed on that front. Plus, while I really liked the figures, I just could never get into painting them. I didn't try very hard on the bases either... oh well they served their purpose.

WH40k Catachan
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In an experiment, I had these guys (plus about 15 other figures) painted by Trevy's Painting Table. I paid him $1 per figure to essentially "base coat" the models, and I spec'd out the colors. When I got the models back, I added more detail and did the bases.

The figures after the "base coat"

Trevy  is a great guy for taking my project, and he did an adequate job (which was perfect in this case). However, I doubt I will use his service again as the time saved on the painting table was lost waiting to get through Trevy's production schedule. And to be honest, it just doesn't feel right as a hobbyist. I thought I could justify it by equating it to the comics industry--It is not uncommon to have a junior artist/team block out flat color on a page (a flatter) followed by the actual colorist who creates all the shading, rendering, and special effects.

RT era Penal Legion
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Here are 5 Rogue Trader era Penal Legion. I have 5 more that I scooped up on eBay earlier this year. I painted these guys up in traditional colors and a typical grassy base.

RT era Imperial Guard
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I also painted these guys in traditional colors. I only have 3 other guys that are of this style and I am looking to round out a squad of 10. I did a slightly different treatment to the bases--I only used very coarse ballast. It is an interesting look.

Necromunda Redemptionists
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The guy in the middle is a Grenadier miniature Adeptus-B donated to the gang. Another friend bough the Redemptionist box set a long time ago, and I have sort of inherited it. I have about 10 more models to finish the gang, but these will do fine for Dark Heresy.

WH40K Adeptas Arbites
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And finally, here is the first squad of my small Adeptus Arbite gang/force. I have 2 other 6-man units, and three counts-as Rhino's that I last discussed here. A litle birdie told me we might be seeing some of these guys in an upcoming Dark Heresy session--and in our particular situation, it could be very bad!!

I tried to paint the bases like asphalt with road surface markings--I am not entirely happy about them, but they are acceptable for now.

Well, that's all for now, the holidays are around the corner, and I hope everyone has a happy and healty rest of the year. Until next time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Finetuning a Risky Venture

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As mentioned in other posts, I have been working on a map for Risk. It is loosely based on the PC game Risk II with a few additional territories (above the 5 territories already added in Risk II). Mainly I was attempting to prevent the castle strategy. But after an initial design, I wanted to make the map more esthetically pleasing and "in the style" of an 19th century map.

About a month ago, I ordered a set of Lord of the Rings Monopoly pieces to replace the (now inappropriate) modern cities and capitols from the 2008 edition (Revised) Risk. I planned on using the "hotels" (fortresses) as the capitols, and the "houses" (strongholds) as the cities, but now that I have them in hand, I am not sure.

I am also working on creating my own set of rules (beyond a 2-player variant from the last post)... I guess the most appropriate name would be Risk, Revised Edition 1.5. I am including elements from Risk II, Risk Legacy, and various incarnations of standard Risk rules (both official and variants) over the last 30 years. After I complete the map and get a better handle on the new set of rules, I will throw it out to those of you that pretend to read what I write! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Dark Heresy Cadre of Acolytes mk 3

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Well, it's time to update our group glamor photo. The last incarnation of our group can be found here. Hmack has completed his mk 2 version of his character, and we have added a new player.

We have just completed rank 5 and will gain our first advances from rank 6 at the end of our next session in 2 weeks. Here is the breakdown of our group:

  • Denathor (Adept) - WH40K IG Master of Ordinance by Zorcon
  • Venris (Cleric) - Converted Necromunda Redemptionist Leader by Zorcon 
  • Kaarl (Tech-Priest) - Custom figure by Adeptus-B
  • Quintillia (Assassin) - Converted Warmachine Eiryss, Angel of Retribution by Hmack
  • Nickodemous (Imperial Psyker) - Converted Dark Age Bane Leader by Zorcon
  • Rel (Scum)  - Converted Dark Age Forsaken Coil by Zorcon
  • Skull Servitor - Skull Servitor by Zorcon

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Future upgrades: I *still* have a Techpriest Enginseer ready to paint for the mk 2 Tech-Priest, but the player has yet to take any mechadendrite advancements!! Plus, I discovered he wont be sporting an Omnisian Axe or a manipulator, so this guy will need to be modified after the player makes his final choices. I am also getting very antsy to make a mk 3 version of my character, but will wait until I get a force sword and better armor.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two Risk or Not Two Risk

In my opinion, Risk has some inherent problems, but it is still a game with a bunch of little guys (ie fun to play with).

I have managed to put my hands on the Risk rulebooks from 1980, 1993, 2003, 2008, and 2011. As far as game play, they are almost identical with only minor tweaks to troop reinforcements (how many you get per turn) and starting number of troops.

In '93 they introduced missions, and each proceeding set "improved" the mechanics to some degree. The '08 set significantly retooled of the mission system, plus they added cities and capitols. They also changed the official way to determine starting territories.

One element I thought strange was that the most significant changes between all 5 sets of rules are in the 2-player rules variant ('08 doesn’t even cover it). Within that sub-section, the biggest differences are whether or not to include neutral armies, and whether or not the allies are passive or aggressive.

I recently picked up the 2008 set because it had cities and capitols (unique to the set). But I will be playing this mostly with my son, and it didn’t cover how to play a 2-player game, I looked at how the other sets handled it. My old '78 set had 2-player rules (without allies), the ’93 set added 1 neutral ally, and the ’11 set is the same as ‘93. However, the '03 rules include a very extensive set of instructions for including multiple aggressive neutrals/allies.

After reading through all these editions, I made up my own rules!! Essentially, I blended the '93 and '03 rules in the framework of an '08 game (cities, capitols and enhanced objectives/missions). I am really pleased with how it all turned out. This is a PDF of what I came up with.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I also started working on a custom map for Risk. I like it, but have decided to take a dramatic turn in direction. I will share my progress in a later post,

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I like what I have done so far, but have decided to take a completely different approach. I will share what I come up with another time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dark Heresy Character Showcase - Scum

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Here is my "recent" project for the "probie" [edit: Lord Grimskull] in our Dark Heresy game. A scum from the planet Fenris. I really like how this turned out with some fairly simple conversions--and the player if happy too!

Image taken from internets without permission

The body of the miniature is a Dark Age Forsaken Coil. I added a WFB dwarf warhammer to the head of the weapon, and used bitz from a chaos vehicle sprue to add some heft and warhammer bling!

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I added an ancient Rogue Trader era space marine bolt pistol as her sidearm, and a cape from my bitz box.

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To emphasize the connection to Fenris, I added some trophies from the Space Wolf sprue to her shoulder and hip (not pictured) and a Mordheim bit to her belt buckle. Lastly, I swapped the head for a WHFB elf head.

For the base I used my standard basing sand mix. I painted the ground a ruddy brown, and the larger rocks a purplish-grey. Next I added a custom mix of dark static grass and finally some leaf scatter from Skullcrafts.

Well that is about it... I hope you like it and that you come back to see more...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bygone: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Non-Player Character Sheet v2.2

H6ere is another character sheet from thee past. I used this for both cohorts and BBEG. I used a different color than for the PC's sheets so that it would stand out on the table or in a player's packet.

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I think this wraps up my series of D&D 3.x character sheets. I have other drawings and player aids I plan to share in later posts. I hope you liked what you have seen so far!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

(WH) 40KRP in Cin..cin..atiiii

Image taken from the internets without permission

I think of this show, more specifically the last verse of the opening theme song, when I think of Dark Heresy and the other WH40K Role-playing Games. Not that it has much to do with WH40K or role-playing, its just that in my head 40KRP triggered the memory of WKRP, and it is now forever ingrained in my mind and the two will always be opposite sides of a coin.

Anyway, the actual reason for his post is to share a project I am working on. I have undertaken cataloging the various items, skills, adversaries and such in the WH40K Role-playing Game system. So far, I am almost through Inquisitor's Handbook (plus a few other tid bits).

This is not a new concept for me. I took on indexing all of the D&D 3.x books both from WoTC and third party publishers. In total, I managed to index over 400 books. The directory still resides at This time around however, I do not plan to include specific rules definitions. I only intend for this resource to be a reference to book and page number with a few categories included to improve sorting and filtering. I realize a database program is probably the better application to use, but I am much more adept at Excel.

With no further ado, here is the beginnings of the WH40RP Rules Directory. I hope you like the project and I comments and suggestions.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, this was supposed to be my Halloween post. RL has just been to consuming. So this is now a Day of Thanks post! I really appreciate all my followers and I hope you and yours have a great holiday!

Now, on to the fun stuff!! Below I have a brief synopses of what I have managed to work on over my absence from the world wide web... hope you like it!

My GM requested I make a graveyard
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My GM ran a special Halloween themed Dark Heresy encounter on the game session just prior to Halloween. Unfortunately, mostly due to my character's actions, the encounter never occurred in the graveyard (it stayed in the crypt below ground), so the terrain was never used! Oh well, it will get used eventually. I will explain how I made this in a later post.

Rel, our new scumer
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We have recently added a new player to our Dark Heresy game. In a future post, I will show all the conversions to this model, but for now I will say there is a head and weapon swap.

Remote Comm Unit
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Back in this post, I showed a WiP communications console. Here it is ready to be painted. I will also discuss this piece in more detail in a later post.

Trailer progect
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I am rally not sure where I am going with this one. I am half inclined to remove the element (an old school transformer toy) from the yellow trailer and just scratch-build a box-trailer. But on the other hand I could build a box trailer without the toy trailer, so why not just keep going to see what I end up with?
Image taken from the internets without permission
Finally, I have a project to complete for my GM--Convert 12 of the above HeroClix models to Rak'gol's for our future Deathwatch games. I have all the bitz (various tyranid arms) ready to go, and just need to find the time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Risk Reward

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I have posted and a ton of things have happened. (Note to Ron: This is not an apology!! :P) The most significant change in my life has been moving my mother-in-law in with us. I converted our barely used dining room to my new office (FYI, the family room functions as a dining room), and the old office is my in-laws room now. She has Alzheimer's. It was my suggestion to move her in as the previous situation was just not working. I am now a stay at home care giver *and* dad. At times it is an easy job, at times it is tough. But we are holding strong.

On to lighter news, my Dark Heresy campaign is plodding along at about 1 session a month (the best my group can manage), but I am having a blast!! We are planning to start our next session earlier than usual (by about 2 hours) and to drink less beer (so the last 2 hours is productive!!). We have also added a new player to the mix and I will showcase the work I did on the miniature in a later post.

My 1980 version of Risk with Roman Numeral pieces
(Image taken from without permission)

The other day, my son and I played his first game of Risk. He is 8 and has ADHD, but did really well for his first game. However, about 3/4's the way through the game, my son looked at me and said "Daddy, I am a boy who plays with soldiers, not a boy who plays with clock numbers." I about fell out of my chair laughing. We finished up the game and I spent the next two weeks researching how I could supply soldiers to my version of risk.

After spending most of my time pouring through what had to offer, I decided to get the pieces from the 1993 version of Risk, and the entire 2008 version of Risk for the new rules and components.

Pieces from the 1993 version of Risk
(Image taken from without permission)
Pieces from the 2008 version of Risk
(Image taken from without permission)
The 2008 "revised" version adds major and minor objectives, along with cities and capitals, plus rewards for completing objectives. It has also balanced the reinforcements rules. The only real "down side" is that the armies are simply arrows!?!

After about a week of searching, I found what I was looking for on eBay for a great price. The items arrived, and my son and I have played 2 more games of Risk. However, I found the 1980 2-player rules to be too simplistic, the 1993 version was the same but introduced a neutral ally, and the 2008 version doesn't even have a 2-player option!! Fortunately I was able to download the 2003 version of the rules because it has an extensive active neutral rules set.

I am working on writing up rul
es e
ssentially blending the ’93 and ’03 2-player variant within the mechanics of the '08 rules set. Once I have it finalized, I will discuss it in a later post. 

My OCD kicked in and I also started working on a new map heavily influenced by the PC game Risk II. When I get further along, I will post it.

Its good to be back in the blogosphere!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WIP: Imperial Dwelling

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Here are some closeups of one of the buildings from my Imperial City Project. It is intended to be a dwelling for a VIP/government official, or it could be a middle class apartment complex. The back side is fashioned to be the "back ally" entrance, or it could stand in as a minor Adeptus Mechanicus building.

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As you can see, the roof and the second floor are removable to allow for interior movement. I'm not sure yet if and to what extent I will detail the interior.

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The large pink blocks flanking the stairway is my attempt at bridging esthetics and functionality. The balsa wood stairway is visually appealing, while the pink foam board blocks allow for 6 figures to be placed on the stairs.

I hope you like it.

[Edit] Oops... I forgot to say that the building is also removable from its base...

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Birthday

Image taken off the internets without permission

WOW! I made it to 2 years! I was out of town the actual day my blog hit "2", and I forgot to switch this post from draft to scheduled. Oh well... I can still post it retroactively on the correct day!!

The past two years has brought many RL challenges, and forced me to change my priorities on more than one occasion. But I really enjoy sharing my hobby and experiences. So I hope to be here in 2 more years!

Building an Imperial City

Over the past few weeks, I have had a small set back with my meds, accomplished some heavy spring cleaning around the house, and went out of state for a family reunion. However, I still managed to get some hobby time in. About a month ago, Adeptus-B requested I provide some Imperial buildings for an upcoming encounter in Dark Heresy. So I set myself to task. Following is an in-progress set of photos of the first 6 buildings.

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(click on image to enlarge)

I plan to make more buildings both intact and destroyed. Ultimately, I would like to densly cover an entire 4'x8' table with the "blocks" set on a 45°. This will require some triangle shaped "half-blocks" and I have an idea how to accomplish this.

In future posts, I will show staged WIP pics of the individual buildings. Some of the buildings will come appart at each floor and will have interior detail.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Poll Results

Here are the results to the poll that I ran durring the month of May.

If you were to buy a new set of RPG dice, What would you most likely buy...

  • 5% Individual Dice
  • 5% In sets of 6
  • 20% In sets of 7
  • 5% In sets of 10
  • 0 A large mixed lot
  • 20% All one color
  • 20% Sets of colors
  • 5% Buy on-line
  • 5% Buy at FLGS
Thank you to all who contributed!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

7th Anniversary

Seven years ago today I launched a website called Games of Zorcon. I set out with a plan to showcase my favorite games -- Primarily through developing and sharing resources, but also itemizing complete product lists.

The main categories of the site are:
 While I haven't contributed to the site in quite a while, the site is still relevant and useful. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bygone: Spell Book Record Sheet v2.3

Another D&D 3.5  contribution. For the Wizards, I made a sheet to track all of their spell books and spells within. Each column is a separate book.

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There is not much to say about this one, and it has very low usage compared to the other sheets. But if you would like a PDF, click here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Terrain Showcase

I wanted to maximize my terrain, both in versatility and storage. After some brain storming and sketches, I came up with the following.

A grouping of area terrain bases plus a few individual
dead tree terrain pieces. Rocky terrain in the background,
Swampland in the foreground.
(click on image to enlarge)
I started by making 4 large oblong shapes slightly larger than a group of CDs out of 1/8" MDF. Next I rounded all the outside edges along the smooth side. Then I glued small strips of balsa wood around a tracing of a CD to create a small CD sized divot. Next I used wall spackle to fill in all the areas between thee balsa wood and the edge of the MDF. Finally, I added a few pebbles, some sand, painted and flocked them.

Multiple dead tree terrain bases. In the foreground, an area
terrain base with the terrain pieces removed.
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For the next stage, I based specific terrain types on old CD's. For example, dead trees, swamp, rocky outcroppings, jungle trees, etc. I made 5-7 CD of each terrain type. The CD sized terrain is easier to store, plus they can be used individually or inserted into one of the large MDF terrain bases to represent area terrain. 

To add more versatility, I also made one "dangerous" version for each terrain type. This allows me to signify mundane area terrain as having an additional effect either before the game, or randomly during the game. Here is a list of the "dangerous" terrain:

Dead Trees - A Haunted tree (seen in the second pic above)
Rocky Outcroppings - An abandoned sacrificial well
Swamp - A lurking submerged monster
Jungle Trees - A large Venus Human Trap plant

Friday, May 13, 2011

Poll: RPG Dice

I just started a new poll. I would like to get a better idea of what people's RPG dice buying habits are. Do you buy them in sets, or individually? Do you buy all one color, or in multiple colors? Would you buy dice on-line or from your FLGS?

Cast your vote now!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bygone: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Spell/Power Record Sheet v2.3

Continuing with my series of Bygone posts, here is a sheet for D&D 3.5 casters. Any character that had spells or powers uses this sheet as the main character sheet has no accommodations at all for casters.

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There is only one side to this sheet. I fond a second side to be unnecessary. If you would like to download a printable PDF, hit the link here!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I began creating an on-line repository of all the gaming resources, publishers, and manufacturers I have come across over the last "few" years. These links are stored in various locations on my computer. As I was trying to find a link earlier today, it dawned on me that it would be a great addition to this site to combine and update my list of links.

At the top of the page you will see a new menu bar under the header. Currently, there is a page of links for Resources, Publishers, Manufacturers, and On-line Stores. I have tried to organize everything into useful categories-- In some cases the same link appears on more then one page and/or category.

I also took this time to begin to layout a formal gallery that I will begin to populate in the near future.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bygone: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Magic Item Cards v3

My second D&D 3.5 campaign was set in the high magic world of Eberron. I wanted magic items to feel like a commodity, so I created these baseball card sized sheets and printed them on card stock. Except for consumables items like potions and scrolls, ALL magic items were represented by one of theses cards. My players really enjoyed the tangible items.

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(click on image to enlarge)

For the consumable items, I used inexpensive plastic poker chips with colored dot stickers on each one. I wrote the name of the item on the stickers. Each player had a felt bag to keep their poker chips in (I also used glass beads to represent various key items), and 9-card plastic holders for their magic items. Ideally I would have also had something to represent coins, but at the time I never could come up with anything inexpensive.

Here is a link to a printable 18-up PDF file.

This was an overall success in our group. However, it did add more prep time, and caused a lull in the game when a random item was encountered.

Games of Zorcon

I have uploaded a ton of dice to my ebay store. Actually, it's more like 10 pounds! Check out the links in the upper right.

Post #100

I can't believe I have had 100 things to say... well this one is blatant self indulgent!! I have had a lot of fun, and I hope to see you all at post #200.

To keep the theme... here is a shot of the figure cabinet in my game room.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

New Paint Bottles

Looking in the bag of now empty bottles.
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Over the last month I have been slowly converting my paint from pots/flip-tops to dropper bottles. About a year ago, I bought 30 empty Vallejo bottles. They cost me about 80¢ each, and at the time I decided that it was cost prohibitive to swap all my paints. Fast forward to about a month ago... I found these on eBay. I bought enough (including the 30 Vallejo bottles I already had) to switch from pots to droppers.

From L to R: eBay bottle and Vallejo bottle.
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I am organizing my colors into groups of four. This gives me the option to paint a dark or a light triad (depending on weather I choose the 3 darkest colors or the 3 lightest colors of a group, or to use all four colors for a more detailed model. In some cases, I already had all four colors to make a group. In other cases, I either mixed a color to bridge a large shade gap between 2 colors, or I simply added white to make a new light color.

There were no issues pouring paints directly out of the pot and into the dropper bottle. However, the inks and washes were very problematic. It was so difficult not to get more on the table than in the bottle, I attached a small bit of tubing to the end of a large syringe. It worked perfectly with all of the inks, but was a total mess with the more viscous paints.

Using a syringe and small bit of tube made filling the bottles
with ink very easy.
I'm almost done-- I still have about 20+ bottles to finish. I took some "in progress" pics, and will show those as well as a "completed" pic in a later post.

Admittedly, this was a very tedious task to complete. Another factor is cost-- I spent about $45 on empty bottles. However, I think it was worth it.