Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fungus Among Us

Here is a quick post of a WIP project I am working on at behest of my GM, Adeptus-B. Our Dark Heresy Acolytes will apparently be facing such Plantae terror.

The pieces are from Armorcasts Alien Plant line. I have had them laying around for a number of years (6?), and intended to include them in some jungle terrain I started about 2 years ago. I based the pieces on CDs so they will fit in my modular area terrain.

These were primed black and dry brushed in Dark Angels Green in the off chance we encounter these thing before they are painted.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dark Heresy Character WIP - Scum mk 2

Here is the second incarnation of the scum in our Dark Heresy group. The first rendition can be found here. This model is a Privateer Press Kommander Sorscha (2010 Metal). Lord Grimskull bought this figure and made the green stuff additions himself. What a bang up job for a first go around!!!

Image taken from Privateer Press without permission

Lord Grimskull cut off the head-dress and sculpted a new head along with a nice pair of bangs. He also added a skull around the hammer's head. I bend the left arm to make it outstretched as if challenging a foe.

I have also added some pieces from by bitz box: A small wolf head medallion; 2 chain swords; and a wolf pelt cloak. The character hails from Fenris, hence all the feral adornments.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dark Heresy Character WIP - Psyker (part 2) **AND** 200th Post!!!

It is quite appropriate that my 200th post is about one of *my* characters--A megalomaniac to boot!!

This is the 3rd version of my Psyker, Nicodemus, for my Dark Heresy campaign. He is the first to enter a room, the first to enter combat and the last to leave. He has bartered, traded, and on occasion, simply took the items he feels are necessary to complete the mission.

There has been little true "conversion" work on this model. But I give the full rundown in part 1 of this project.

At this stage, I have base color and some of the washes down. I chose my colors based on how I paint up my Arbites. All of his equipment (armor) is either of Enforcer or Arbite make. The rest of his gear I wanted to be a bit random about out of place looking to emphasize the hodgepodge collection.

"Nic" has become quite a handful for the other characters--Especially the Cleric! Nicodemus has always thought himself to be special. That is if you can consider always being of less than a year.  He was mind wiped and placed in chrio sleep aboard a Black Ship before being "called up" by our Inquisitor. So all Nic "knows" is being an acolyte and that he once was important enough not to kill in his former life. That self-importance has developed into a full blown god complex!!

What a landmark!! 200 posts (59 in the last 4 months)!! It has taken over 4 years to get here. I am planning on not taking that long for the next 200. Thanks to all my readers, I hope you enjoy what is to come.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

40K BatRep - Tau vs Space Marines

Set up

My son and I played a game of (5th edition) WH40K about 3 months ago and I forgot to write up a battle report. I will have to heavily rely on the photos to help recall the details.

I don't have any of the 6th edition books or figures as I am currently unable to afford any of it. To be honest, I would like to blame it on the recent price hikes, but that wasn't a factor at all. So I make due with what I have!!

My son has A Space Marine Salamander army that I painted. For this game WYSIWYG was a priority! I also wanted to instill the importance of painted figures. I didn't have enough Tau painted to field a 200 point force, so I took everything I had that was painted and selected a few models from what was assembled. My son really wanted a tank, so I pulled one off my project shelf for him.

The game went to Turn 7. It ended up a tie, but if it ended any round earlier, my son would have won. Boy, this has been too long to recall any details. I will have to let the pics just speak for them selves on this one!

End of Turn 1

End of Turn 2
End of Turn 3

End of Turn 4

End of Turn 5

End of 6

End of Turn 7

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Risking the Map

Mock game in progress

I have printed a temporary map. I want to play test a couple of games and specific mechanics as well as make sure that all the territories are large enough.

One change I noticed immediately, well actually I didn't notice it but everyone else did, that the font I used for the territory names is too hard to read from across the table. I am on the fence about changing the font. What I have now is perfect stylistically, and in game, functionally, one could point to the territories attacking to and from.

In case you do not recognize the components, I will give a run down:

  • Colored army pieces are from the 1993 Risk set
  • Grey city pieces are form the 2008 Risk set
  • White castle/tower is from LOtR Monopoly set
  • Grey castle/keep is from LOtR Monopoly set
  • Ship is from Pirates of the Caribbean Game of Life
  • Colored "dome" capitol pieces are from the 2008 Risk set
I bough the 2008 Risk game (still available on store shelves). All the other components were bought off eBay on the cheap except for the Caribbean Life game that I picked up at a thrift store for $1.

Why are maps the most comfortable place for a cat to sleep?

So far everything is looking good. I have enough tokens made to run through a game. Having the map in hand at full scale, I already have a bunch of new ideas that will fine-tune some of my floundering mechanics.

Next step is to assemble all of my notes into something that can be referenced in game and play!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Jade's Furry

Here is a ship I designed for my Eberron campaign...

In Eberron, low-level magic is very common and has enveloped every day living, from city street lamps to a continent wide "lightning" train. This ship is one such magical powered vessel.

Instead of sails, airships have a fire elemental bound to it. A ring of fire surrounds the ship and the pilot "controls" the elemental in order to maneuver the ship.

I designed this ship with the expectation that my players would eventually take control of it. So I deliberately included elements that would be helpful and others less desirable. That said, I expected the players would modify it at some point.

Image taken off interwebs without permission.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dark Heresy Character Showcase - Guardsman

I finally put on the last bit of detail on Deatbot's figure. The armor, scope, bullets, and metal bitz on the base have a healthy coating of gloss varnish. Not sure if the extra work shows off in this pic. Here are some more images "in the round".

A little surprise on the base was adding a partial zombie skull inside the pipe, floating at the top of whatever sludge is in there.

To create the sludge, I filled the pipe with a couple of layers of water effects with a thin wash of turqouse in between each layer--I was trying to force a depth into the liquid.

If you missed the WIP posts, here are links to past articles for this project:
Heavy Stubber Conversion
Dark Heresy Character WIP - Guardsman
Dark Heresy Character WIP - Guardsman (part 2)

In the coming week, I will be finishing up a couple long over due almost-done-projects and working on 2 Dark Heresy PC figures.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Eberron Vehicles

Here are 2 vehicles I scratch built for my Eberron campaign.


This is essentially a wagon with a bound earth elemental. In hind sight, I wish I had built a more traditional wagon out of balsa wood, and then wrapped it in stone. However, this certainly is a serviceable piece. The cargo bed can fit 8 medium sized humanoids (ie 20mm square bases), plus a driver on the bench.


In Eberron, in addition to sailing ships, they have airships. The airships fly under the power of a bound fire (or air) elemental.

My players managed to acquire their own airship. (I will post a map in the near future) They would often leave the it a short distance from their destination, taking the skiff the last bit. Having a model of the skiff was going to be convenient.

This skiff (or raft) is a WIP, belonging to a much larger vessel. This model can fit ten 20mm bases on the deck.

We ended the campaign soon after the players took control of the airship, so this piece never got finished. It was only used for 1 or 2 sessions. The players occasionally show interest in returning to the campaign. One idea is to have the characters retire from adventuring and "set sail" on a new chapter. The characters were around 12th level and it would be nice to take them up to around 15th level.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Token Risk

Part 7 in my Risk Omega project... Click here for past posts on this project.

I started designing, printing and assembling tokens needed for the additional rules I am writing. As I have said before, in game design/mod I often design the end product before the rules are even made. This is one of those cases. I have ideas for mechanics, but have not yet finalized them, but here we are looking at completed tokens.

When I say design, I mean that loosely. Basically I took images off the interwebs, cut them out, flopped them, added a white outline and placed them on a star shape and a circle with a gradient color fill.

I bought these laser-cut MDF bases from GF9 awhile back specifically to make tokens. Although I hadn't thought of this project yet.

Pairing up the fronts and backs. In most cases they are identical. one-sided tokens is one of my pet peeves in board games!!! I printed the tokens on label stock and simply peel and stick.

This is the underside to my circle punch. It makes a 1" hole. I hold the punch upside down so I can see the image and center it before cutting it out. You can see a set of completed red player tokens on the upper right.

My first page of tokens. The top "heads" are the leaders/generals. There is one 3-star, two 2-star and three 1-star leaders for each color. The 1-stars will be on the back and the 2 and 3-star leaders will be on the front.

The next images represent a Palmerston Fort style defense. They were built around the time of Napoleon III by Britain, but other countries built similar forts.

The next image represents a spy. These will be available only after achieving an objective. I originally planned on using a grey background, but later decided on making one for each color.

The ship is an example of a token with out a rule. I have 3 different rule mechanics in mind so will be play-testing the best option. Again, I originally printed the ships with a grey background.

Next is a desert. I have an idea to have weather and geographical elements to the game. At the moment, my thought is when the event is "triggered" the appropriate token is placed in the effected territory.

Lastly, are the red stars, or victory points. This will be the way to win the game.

This is my second sheet of tokens. The blue background wound up printing too dark and too similar to black, so I remade them lighter. Then I printed more forts, spys, and ships in player colors, as well as more stars.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jass Two Plus One

Mock-up of completed project

I just finished this project for a customer. "Jass For Fun" is a local 20-30's style jazz band. This was a very fulfilling (and fun) project. I designed the exterior elements and the CD label to be in the style of an era LP label and jacket. I even went as far as aging the CD label as if were a well used vintage label.

The photography was done by a local photographer whom I have done business with in the past. She actually put me in touch with this customer.

The inside spread of the insert has a brief bio of each member and a casual shot. There were over 100 pictures to choose from, although the client and photographer had their favorites.

I like how the color pallet for this project turned out on the back.

My favorite part of the project was the CD label. I sourced a stock photo of a vintage LP (there were no spaces in the grooves between songs) to make the CD look like it is a small record.

The client is happy with the project, and I will be designing a poster and a mailer next.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Image taken from interwebs
without permission

My family has had to contend with a serious health challenge in the last few weeks. Very scary in fact. It is not over, but treatment is progressing and there is a good outlook.

I have been preoccupied dealing with the repercussions of this recent challenge. As a father, husband, and caregiver my health (mental and physical) is of utmost importance. What I forgot is that my hobby time is my primary form therapy. Actually, it has been for decades. Last week, I fell into an old habit of feeling sorry for myself (and my situation)--When I did have some time to spare, I did nothing but mope.

The last 10 years have been full of turmoil. Between my wife, my son, and myself we have endured: Breast Cancer, ADHD, unemployment, hallucinations, Dyspraxia, Alzheimer's, Brain Tumor, foreclosure, severe Depression, Bi-Polar, Structured Learning, Epilepsy, and 16 surgeries. OK, I cheated a little by adding Alzhiemer's to the list. I did that because it directly impacts my family. We moved my mother-in-law in with us about 2 years ago and I am her primary caregiver.

Throughout all of these challenges, the thing that has kept me going is gaming. It has been the catalyst to spend time with my friends. Gaming has also brought serenity when sitting at my workbench painting away. Most importantly it has been my source of feeling, forgive the cliche, "Everything will be OK".

Enough of the life lessons already!! Back to the regularly scheduled topic! I missed posting some topics that weren't yet scheduled because of details missing. Rather than post-date them, or dump them all on one day, I will be making a post every day through the end of the month. Here are the highlights:

  • Jass Two Plus One:  A recent design project I completed for a 20's and 30's style Jazz band.
  • Token Risk: I began printing out tokens for my Risk Omega rules.
  • 40K BatRep - Tau vs Space Marines: A long delayed picture bat-rep of a game I played with my son (his first official full-rules game).
  • Eberron Vehicles: 2 different Eberron vehicles I scratch built for my old D&D campaign.
  • Jade's Furry: The blue prints to a large vessel I drew up that my Eberron players captured at the end (?) of our campaign.
  • Risking the Map: A test map has been printed for Risk Omega.
  • Dark Heresy Character Showcase - Guardsman: The guardsman (mk 2) in our Dark Heresy campaign.
  • Dark Heresy Character Showcase - Psyker: The psyker (mk 3) in our Dark Heresy campaign.
  • Dark Heresy Character WIP - Scum (part 2): In-progress shots of the scum (mk 2) in our Dark Heresy campaign.
  • Fungus Among Us: Painting up some resin terrain pieces.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Homemade Vinaigrette

I have been mixing my own vinaigrette for a few years and have slowly tweaked one particular recipe into a very flavorful and versatile concoction!

Taken from the internets
without permission

Typically, I make this (and most things in the kitchen) by feel without measuring. But the last time I made it I tried to be mindful of how much of each ingredient I added. Because I don't measure anything, I tend to make each batch a little different... adding something here or taking something out there.

Here is an approximate ingredient list:
  • 2-1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1-1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 20 dashes Hot Chili Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Mural of Flavor*
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
*"Mural of Flavor" is a salt free seasoning mixture from Penzy's Spices. It contains: shallots, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, coriander, lemon peel, citric acid, black pepper, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, and orange peel.

I have also made variations with the addition of these ingredients: grape-seed oil, lemon juice, smoked paprika, chili powder, and onion powder.

In addition to the perfect salad dressing, it makes a great marinade and is perfect for a saute.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Deathwatch Kill Team

Here is a couple of group shots of our Deathwatch Kill Team. 

We are one player short of a 10-man squad. Although we have played with the entire team, that is highly unusual. (I probably said in another post) our Deathwatch campaign is secondary our Dark Heresy Campaign. If we don't have enough to play DH, then we pull out DW. This means that almost every time we play Deathwatch, we have a different mix of players.

The models were painted by Adeptus-B (5),  myself (3), and another friend (1). They are all accurate to chapter and specialty (except for a White Scar Tactical Marine standing in for a a Space Wolf Tactical), and equipment.

I have previous posts showcasing many of the figures individually, but thought it would be nice to include a pic of a "full deployment!"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What is on the Bottom of Your Base?

I am an old skool gamer. As such, a large portion of my figure collection is made of metal. Over the years, I have added more and more plastic models, but I found that I really disliked the feel of moving the lighter pieces around the table. 

If you have ever played chess, it is the same notion--Heavy/weighted chess pieces are more enjoyable to use during a game: they are less likely to move/topple over if the table is bumped; and a heavier chess piece feels like a higher quality piece.

So I weight all of my plastic/resin figures. (even tanks!)

Example of different ways to add weight to a figures.
Description of the examples above, From right to left:

  1. Aeptus-B uses small bits of lead (like fishing line weights), fills the remaining space with putty, glues on a piece of paper, then paints it.
  2. For 40mm bases I will clip everything off the underside of the base and glue a thick metal washer
  3. For 25mm bases, I also clip off the underside of the base, but glue a penny to the bottom. I dimly used to use small washers, but they were costing me more than one cent!! Duh!
  4. This base isn't weighted, but I had glued a piece of plasticard to the bottom as it seems to sit better on our heavily textured Necromunda terrain.
  5. This is a large flying base weighted by 4 pennies. it is magnetized for a Tau Devilfish. This both add weight and lowers the center of gravity.

A penny might not seem like much weight, but it is really hard to tell the difference between a typical human sized metal figure and a weighted plastic figure.

Do you weight your bases? If so, do you use a different process?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wagons Ho!

Here are some pics of Wagons (and a chariot) that were painted for my Dungeons and Dragons campaigns that ran from '99-'08. Some of the models were purchased specifically for the campaign, and others were already owned.

You will notice an old (20-25 years old) GW Skeleton in most of the pics. I'm not really sure why I put him in these shots as these models don't really need it. But I took these pics on the same day as a series of elemental and giant pics, where the skeleton really did help illustrate scale.



This is a GW Vampire Counts Black Coach that I bought specifically for using as a standard coach. The players started using stagecoaches as their primary mode of long distance travel. We ended up having many encounters in town and on the road centered around coach travel. So I picked up this model. The "conversion" was walling off the back of the coach, swapping skelly driver and horses for health counterparts, adding interior detail by carving passenger seats out of foam, and adding baggage to the roof.

This model was one of my first attempts at modeling a "road", or worn spot in the grassy earth. In hind sight its not very successful. My basing technique at the time was a step up from the previous process, but only a little. Prior to this, I only used one color on the sand covered base (either green or brown). While I am using green and brown, picking out some rocks, and dropping in a bit of flock, it just isn't natural looking.


Here we have 3 carts, all from GW. The one on the left was bought for the campaign. No mods on that one!

The middle cart was bought in the late '80. I had a Halfling Merchant in a WHFRP campaign and I needed a pony, so I picked up this mini. The cart had been build on a separate base with a bent wire around the shafts so that the wagon could attach to the horse.  It was great that the pony and cart were separate, but I found it cumbersome to use on the table. Wen I repainted them for this campaign, I also put them on the same base.

The third cart was one I picked up on a special mail order deal, back when the catalog was mailed to you and was a black and white folding poster!! I do not recall if this cart came with horses or if they were repurposed. I used horses I got from an inexpensive farm animal play set.


This is an old Grenadier Orc Chariot set I bought in the early '80s. I had used this figure in my early WHFB games. It has gone through 3-4 paint jobs over the years and in all the variations, I always kept the wolves separate. In this latest incarnation, I used a movement tray to allow the wolves and chariot to me moved as one piece. you can see the difference in the basing techniques on the wolves compared to the chariot.

The driver came with the original box set, as did the orc in the rear (I think). I do not recall the company or era of the middle orc.

Here is a shot showing the wolves removed. The banner poles lost both the tips over the years. I replaced them with bits from a GW plastic Skeleton sprue.