Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Hoping you and yours have a great 2015!

"Let us resolve to do the best we can with what we've got"
-William Feather

Looking back, 2014 was another challenging year for the Zorcon household: Surgery, months in the hospital, police at the house, medical retirement, and a missing person, just to name a few. But we survived!

On the hobby front, while I fell a little short of my post count goal, all things considered, I am happy with my achievements.

Here's to 2015, and a chance to start over!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Familiar Friend

My Dark Heresy Character has a familiar!

At our last session, my character Nicodemus used a psychic power to bond with a small animal for the first time. He hasn't had the power very long (2-3 session), but if he didn't get something now, his only prospects for a long time would be slim to none.

Turns out, it couldn't have been a better choice! I hadn't yet decided what I wanted to get--A small rodent, a bird of prey, or something foreshadowing Nic's decent into the dark arts. After a bit of thinking while another player was taking actions, I had the idea of checking out a nearby pet store.

Now Nicodemus is a very flashy, sometimes temperamental, self important (and indulgent), usually-loyal-to-the-Emperor Inquisitorial agent. It popped in my head to ask about an exotic animal. It should be noted that our next mission is to take down a group of pirates. I could not contain myself with the irony having a parrot on my shoulder... Shiver my timbers! (sorry for the bad pun) I bought a Blaze Wing! It is a large luminous red parrot!

The next day, I trolled the interwebs to find a suitable figure. I found this 'little' guy for $2.12 from Reaper Miniatures.

For this quickie shot, I used poster tac to attach the tail feathers to the far side of the shield. I love this pose! So much so, I am going to make the parrot's base fit around/under my character's base so they can tactically move together or separately.

I may do a little green-stuff cyber-conversion with the intent to "upgrade" the bird in the future... In hind site, I should have bought two!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Job, New Gear...

... New Journey!

Finally got my new workstation 100% up and running (had issues with procuring the correct adapter cable for the Wacom tablet).

I began working for a good friend of 20 years last week. It will be about 90% at-home, so my 12-year old computer needed to be retired! My employer had a custom rig built to my specs--The highlights are:
  • Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz Processor
  • ASUS GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Video Card
  • Samsung 512GB SSD
  • Liquid CPU Fan
The Wacom Cintiq was also provided by my employer, and the TV was an Xmas '13 gift from my best friend, now connected to the new computer. The monitors, keyboard and mouse are from the old computer (about 5 years old).

We are starting out slowly in the new job for a number of reasons. Firstly so that I can transfer the day-to-day care of my mother-in-law to Mrs Zorcon. Secondly because my wife is having major surgery in 2 days. Thirdly, the holidays. And lastly, to allow me the time to get back into the swing of things. 

While caring for my mother-in-law 24-7 for the last three years has been the most difficult 'job' I have ever had, it is not the same as being productive at a desk for 8 hours! 

I am really looking forward to this new adventure and the opportunities it will bring!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a Happy Holidays!

I hope you and yours have a safe and wonderful day today!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

First Shapeways Order part 2

Launch Bays have arrived!

In part 1 of this topic, I showed you two different sets of iconography I designed and 3D printed for two of my Battlefleet Gothic fleets. Here we have a piece that replaces one of the original weapon assemblies that came with the game--Launch Bays.

Original Launch Bays
New Launch Bays Re-fit

I am super stoked how this turned out. It is exactly how I imagined it! The new launch bay creates a cleaner silhouette, and I am please with the simpler lines along the hull.

There was a small hiccup in the design--They turned out just a hair wide, but it was easy to sand the edges to fit. I am not worried and do not plan to update the stl file.

This ship is in process of a repaint and a remodel. In addition to ripping out and replacing the launch bays, it has had some other new bits added. The original bridge was cut off and a chaos bridge added. I also added Wing Shields and a Bridge Dome. The latter two are from Shapeways. They came in a set of bits called Cruiser Upgrade Pack 1, created by contributor Armand.

If you missed it, you can see the Launch Bay design file in this post.

Next step it to get some painted models to show!

Monday, December 22, 2014

More Moonshine Pie

Over the last couple months I created 3 new flavors of Pie!

General Preparations:

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot, and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally.

Remove the pot from heat. At this point, you may let cool to room temperature before proceeding to the next steps, or continue on while its hot.

Remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks (if used) from combined liquid.

Pour 4oz of grain alcohol in a mason jar*. Add a cinnamon stick (if used). Fill jar with combined liquid.

The 'Pie' is ready for consumption! (or storage) I keep them in my beer fridge, but they will be just fine in a cool dark place. I estimate the final alcohol content to be about 40 proof.

*A full batch will use about 1-1/4 bottles (1000ml)


1 gallon Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate (I use Trader Joe's brand)
1-750ml bottle Almond Roca syrup (I used Torani brand)
4 packets Spiced Apple mix (I use Alpine)
4 whole cloves
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract

Note: This recipe makes about half batch compared to my others.



2 gallons Apple Cider
3 Ginger Roots (peeled and sliced)
10-15 stalks Lemongrass (cut off bottom and peel off dried layers)
2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract



2 gallons Cranberry Juice
1-1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1-1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
4 packets Spiced Apple mix (I use Alpine)
9 whole Cinnamon Sticks
8 whole cloves
2 Tbs Vanilla Extract

Hope you like them!

Friday, December 19, 2014

First Shapeways Order

A new era of my hobby.

I received my first batch of my own custom 3D designed and printed loot today! I am very excited about the prospect of designing little bits and baubles for my own use and then be able to offer them to anyone else who is interested.

First up is a 'Khorne Tower", representing a MoK on my chaos cruisers. Sorry for the poor image, the pic I took with flash was just a white blob. These will look so much better all painted up, but I couldn't wait to share.

Next up is an Aquamarine badge. They will be placed on all of my space marine ships, but I am working on a modified design to use on my space marines.

Launch bays are on their way. I can't wait to see how they look!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ten Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa

This year's Cards Against Humanity holiday event!

I missed last years event, '12 days of holiday bullshit', and I was forlorn for 12 months waiting and hoping there would be another event this year. The team over at CAH put me out of my misery--Figuratively and literally! This is what came in my first gift.

Well worth the entry fee and still 9 more gifts to go!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BFG Fleet Reorganization

I love charts!

No pics of little painted toys today. I have a bevy of spreadsheet charts showing the progress and layout of my growing Battlefleet Gothif fleets. After quite a bit of research, I have chewed threw the original BFG and Armada rules books, the official FAQ's, and the community driven 2010 FAQ and BFG:R rule set.

Through all of that, I re-evaluated how to assign my Space Fleet collection into my Battlefleet Gothic fleets, and have updated the progress charts from about a year ago.

The Imperial Navy took the heaviest losses, shared about equally (points wise) across cruisers and escorts. I moved the majority of the over 1,600 points worth of ships to my Rogue Trader fleet. All of those ships fit better stylistically and thematically with an exotic and flamboyant space Noble.

The Pirate fleet has been re-christened a Rogue Trader fleet. Actually, I would have rather had a Rouge Trader fleet from the beginning, but I never liked any of the official lists. I am using the fleet list from BFG:R.

I have made the most progress on my Space Marine fleet. I even started to name the ships! The names are Latin names for sea creatures to play off my homevbrew Space marine chapter, the Aquamarines.

The chart looks quite a bit different because from last time mainly because I changed the colors of the final 2 status', 'Repaint in Progress' and '2nd Gen Finished' to stand out better.

I also removed three 'To Get' ships as they are out of my budget for the foreseeable future.

Defense Systems are not a fleet per se. Although I am treating them as a separate planetary defense 'ally' fleet. While the progress chart is new, I already had a number of systems built and painted.

These ships and defense systems will be primarily used for planetary scenarios. However, there are plenty of other uses too.

The Chaos fleet was one of my after thought fleets. I have some ships, but not really enough to field a usable fleet. I am looking for some inexpensive options.

The Ork fleet is the other after thought. But in this case, I already have, or have the parts to scratch-build all the ships.

The Eldar fleet are made up almost exclusively by Space Fleet figures and fit best as Corsairs. I plan on picking up some Craftworld ships to field as allies.

The last fleet in this chart-packed post is not a fleet--These are terrain pieces, or Celestial Phenomenon.

Well, that wraps up today's episode.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


My side project has become official.

I have officially opened my Shapeways storefront!

It is branded under my graphic design business, Design by Zorcon. Although, I almost branded the storefront under Games of Zorcon, as most of what I will design will be for games.

Only 7 items uploaded so far, but I have that many more in progress.

Yesterday I had my first sale! Unfortunately because the item was in 'Beta' status and hadn't been printed yet, Shapeways declined the order. I have since ordered the piece myself, and once processed I will remove the beta status.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fantasy RPG Dungeon Dressing 1

A gallery of my Fantasy Dungeon Dressing collection.

These pieces have been acquired over the years. Some are purpose bought, while others were lifted from boardgames. A few of the items date back to the mid 80's, but a large portion of them were collected on the 00's.

RPG's originally ware a game that played out exclusively in players minds. But my group is comprised of mostly wargamers, hobbyists, and creative-types. We have turned our combats into detailed 3D tactical exercises. A direct result, I have collected various pieces to help visually describe/dictate the tabletop.

Statures, monuments and obelisks

The three grey pieces and the one front-and-center are pre-painted from Mage Knight. I painted the remaining items. The two light colored obelisks in the back row are from Reaper (?). The three dwarf statues in the middle were made from plastic bottle screw-on caps and GW multi-part plastic figures.

My favorite of the bunch are the two brass lions on marble plinths. They are resin models. I am especially proud of the marble technique (see inset, top).


Most of these are pre-painted sets from Mage Knight and Master Maze. The large groupings (cloth, crates, bags, etc) in the middle and the barrels in the back were painted by me.


Only the two sets of tables with solid back chars are pre-painted sets from Mage Knight. Everything else are a combination of resin and metal models that I painted. The mirror on the tiered stand is one my oldest dungeon decor pieces. The rug under the desk is a piece of plasticard with the ends scored (to make the tassels).


A menagerie of pieces that didn't fit anywhere else. I painted everything here.

The pot is also one of my oldest figures. It originally had billowing smoke that culminated into the shape of a wizards face. It broke off, so I decided to re-purpose it. I made the campfire out of small gravel and toothpicks.

Thrones and Magic Items

The left throne is a game piece and the right throne is from Mage Knight. The stone work both thrones are on are GW square bases. I used a small file to carve out the stones. The throne on the left sits atop a 60mm, 40mm, and 20mm base.

All of the magic items (except for the two flying swords) are from Master Maze.

Well, that is it for part 1. The next installment will focus on larger pieces and out door items.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Warmachine Cryx Battlegroup WIP

A lost post from over a month ago.

Moving on from my color test, I have made progress on a Warmachine Cryx Battlegroup.

Still some detail and the base left to do, but I have mostly completed the rusted and corroded metal and bone elements of these figures. This isn't a out of the box battle group. I swapped one of the dog-like Deathripper bonejack for the crab-like Stalker bonejack. 

The base is going to be tricky. building up layers of sequentially lighter tinted water effects with the intent to exaggerate the depth of the water. While I have done that with my swamp terrain, I am concerned about the smaller area and how the water effects with interact with the foliage and aquarium plants.

I am looking forward to getting a in game of Warmachine, so I better get cracking on finishing these up!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Salamander Tanks WIP 2

A small update.

I couldn't find a set of standard Predator Sponsons plus weapons within my budget of $10. But I was able to score a pair of Baal Predator Sponsons.

The Blood Angel marking were scraped off with a hubby knife. I also drilled out the barrel. For now Deathbot will have to settle for Heavy Bolters, but I will magnetize the assembly so that Lascannons can be added at a later time.

Here is the tank assembled and waiting for primer.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

3D Design Project

Testing out a new side project!

For the last week or so I have been muddling around with Autodesk's free web ap "Tinker Cad". It has been very easy to learn and use. I will probably move to a more sophisticated (free) program soon, as the control over the shapes/nodes are lacking.

Following is one of the 3D dodads I have been working on . This is a modular component for the existing capitol ships for the game Battlefleet Gothic. I am also working on other pieces for the game such as variant torpedoes, variant fighter craft, and other accessories.

This is a launch bay component. The motivation for this piece came from not liking the bit that comes with the original models, and the inspiration came from the middle section of a transport ship (see below). I always liked the design although it never looked right to me as a transport ship.

These are the components from a heavy transport ship. The second piece from the left was the inspiration for launch bay project. The two types of cargo bays here are 'troops' and 'fuel'.

Here is a sketch for the component I am planning of a 'spine' midsection that will receive modular cargo components. It will also be compatible with the weapon components from the original models allowing for merchant war ships.

Adeptus-B and I discussed making some steam-punk conversion pieces for building and figures. Eventually, I would also like to design some custom game pieces for my Monopoly Omega and Risk Omega projects.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

FLGS Used Score

I have a new FLGS!

Earlier this year, my FLGS of 30+ years closed its doors. A few weeks ago, my son went to Guardian Games for the first time. They have a huge space and Deathbot and I took our time taking it all in.

We both had a little bit of coin in our pockets and were looking for deals.

I searched through the Warmachine and Warhammer 40K used bins. I found two things of interest:

Image taken from internets without permission.

Warwitch Siren Cryx Solo for $6 (Retail $11.99) and a...

Image taken from internets without permission.

Tau Empire Sniper Drone Team (in metal) for $6 (Retail $41.25). Both were complete un-assembled models (minus packaging)

From the video game section, Deathbot scored:

"Gauntlet Seven Sorrows" for Xbox (the first) for $5 and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" RPG for Game Boy Advance

All-in-all $21 spent between the two of us and a nice pile of booty taken home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Cats are Mad at Me!!

I took these pictures about 2 weeks ago.

For the last 3ish months, every time I came out to my work bench, this is what I found:

The very first time it happened, I thought my cats were chasing a bug or small vermin and caused some collateral damage. Bit is continued to occur. The next thing I thought was that my cats were after the water in the cup I use to wash my paint brushes (not pictured) as the point of origin was always right next to it. I hoped this was not true as I typically don't change the water very often... and it gets awfully  rank! So I started putting the water cup in the sink every time I was done.

Unfortunately, the attacks on my hobby bench continued relentlessly.

Weather I went out to my work bench every day, once a week, or less frequently, my work space was disturbed in the same specific fashion: The lower right paint bottles were pulled way to the left, the glue bottled were pushed over forward, and the items (models and paint bottles alike) left 'front and center' were knocked over.

The carnage was always focused in the same areas, and did not get worse no mater how many days passed.

About 2 weeks ago, 2 things were different:

Firstly, and most importantly, there was actual damage caused to a figure. Fortunately, it turned out to not be as bad as seemed at first glance.

The second thing different this time around was there was evidence!! Up until now I had no idea if it was Onyx or Mango (or both) causing all the disruption. Well, I found an orange hair--M-A-N-G-O!!!

I put my work bench back in order and took the above picture. I fixed the broken miniature later that day. Today was the first time back at the work bench since taking these pictures. Guess what, Mango struck again!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BFG Strike Cruiser Carrier

Been in a bit of a slump of late, and I've had a difficult time getting my hobby mojo back. 

About a week ago, I managed to get a little bit of hobby time in. I filled the weapon batteries off of a Strike Cruiser so I could convert it to a carrier. Here is a mock-up of my first attempt.

The white part on the left is 2 trimmed "I" beams glued to a thin piece of plasticard. The grey part on the right is the cut down upper assembly of an old school las pistol.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WH40K Salamander Dreadnoughts WIP (part 4)

These are not action figures! :)

This project, let's call it 'Phase 3', has been sitting on my desk for about 10 months--Not counting the time spent on the game table, or being carted around in Deathbot's army box. About 4 weeks ago, I finally started adding highlights over the base colors. To be frank, I almost didn't.

I spruced these guys up with some pieces from other models I've collected over the years. Some were glued on, but some were attached temporarily by poster tack... more on that in a bit.

Progress has been slow on these two, but they getting close. Although I am second guessing the edge highlighting on the left dreadnought, and may use a different highlighting technique.

As seen in this image from a post last February, the dreadnoughts each *had* 2 'shoulder' mounted pieces. They were attached with poster tack. This works great for testing how a finished models will look before gluing. It actually held well enough (in this case) to survive the gaming table and moderate handling.

Deathbot has loved his space marine figures. Phase 1 was completed over 5 years ago, and was My First Blog Post. Over the years, I restricted how often and where he could play with the figures. As the frequency of broken guns and back pack lessened, so did my restrictions. This year, Deathbot has has shown he is very careful with his army, so I let him take the dreadnoughts to his grandparents. The day he got back from that trip, he had some friends over and the space marines were brought out to bolster an epic Lego mini figure battle.

The next day, I asked Deathbot to clean up the aftermath, including put away his Salamander army, and put the box on the shelf. As I occasionally do, I took inventory*. Everything was there, but the shoulder mounted bits. I looked through his Lego bin for about 20 minutes, and Deathbot looked around the room for about an hour. They were gone.

* I normally do not scrutinize how Deathbot treats his things. While Mrs Zorcon and I try and instill respect and responsibility,not having said toy/item anymore is the 'punishment'.

To the point of the sub-title of this article--"These are not action figures" (I went back and forth about how to phrase that. My first iteration was "These are not toy soldiers"). Well, in fact, they are game components--Sometimes pricey ones at that. On that note, I debated weather to replace the bits and/or to shelve the project indefinitely. Eventually, I chose to buy more bits on 'fleaBay', costing about $12, and finish the models. In the mean time they will stay on my work bench and not in Deathbot's carrying case.

In the end, I know these aren't precious stones or irreplaceable valuables. But they are customized painted models specifically for use in game... or simply put, toy soldiers.

Friday, October 17, 2014

BFG BatRep – Space Marines vs Imperial Navy 500 pts

Battlefleet Gothic returns to family game night. 

Deathbot, Mrs Zorcon, and I played a rematch of our last game. Not surprisingly, this game took place over a month ago and I am just setting down to write up the BatRep.


Once again we play the intro scenario 'Cruiser Clash' at 500 points. This time instead of the game box, I used asteroids to mark off the play field boundaries. This will become an issue later in the game.


We used the same lists.

IMPERIAL NAVY (285pts) - Deathbot
  • Tyrant Cruiser
  • Cobra Destroyer Squadron x3

IMPERIAL NAVY (215pts) - Mrs Zorcon
  • Dauntless Light Cruiser
  • Sword Frigate Squadron x3

SPACE MARINES (500pts) - Zorcon
  • Strike Cruiser
  • Strike Cruiser
  • Gladius Frigate Squadron x2
  • Hunter Destroyer Squadron x3 

Everyone opened up the game advancing towards the middle (red arrows) and launching ordinance (white arrows). The Imperial Navy (IN) missed the mark with their torpedoes, but the Space Marines (SM) caused some minor damage with their Assault Boats.


By this stage, everyone is in firing range. For the first time between this and last game, I split up my Strike Cruisers--This will turn out to be a mistake.


With ships crisscrossing each other, the IN Dauntless class light cruiser is destroyed by massed weapon batteries and attack craft.


As the IN sends its main ship away from the rest of the fleet, the SM fleet prepares to surround the lone enemy vessel.


The SM fleet circles around to attack the IN capitol ship.The mass of blast markers in the lower left shows evidence of the killing blow to the IN Tyrant class cruiser. The explosion took out one of the SM Gladius Frigates.


Now that both capitol ships are destroyed, the 2 IN escort squadrons regroup and cause heavy damage to one of the SM strike cruisers.


Here is were 2 previous mistakes come to pass at the same time--Separating my strike cruisers and not clearly defining the battle zone. The heavily damaged strike cruiser captain orders the ship 'all ahead full'. In an unexpected burst of speed, the ship ends up at the edge of the field of battle. Since I did not clarify at the beginning of the game where the boarder actually is (at the edge of the asteroid's base or at the center of the post), it was unclear id the strike cruiser was out of play or not. 

We chose the best way to resolve the situation was to roll a die; 1-3 the ship stays in play, 4-6 it is off the board. I rolled a 4 and lost the ship.


With renewed morale, the IN went on offence, attempting to repeat its previous efforts. They made a valiant effort to damage the remaining strike cruiser, but the SM fleet was ready and counter attacked. After the end of the turd, the strike cruiser took a few points of damage, but not enough to cripple it. Unfortunately, the IN lost another ship, a Cobra class destroyer.

Game ends with another SM victory. The lad and Mrs are really getting the hang of the game (and I am re-familiarizing myself with the rules). In the next game we will introduce celestial phenomena (terrain).