Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Release the Trolls!!!

So, I stayed the course last night and put the finishing touches on the trolls. This unit is worth 110 pts and puts my Warmaster running total up to 290 pts. Ugh, progress is slow but at least I got these guys done in half the time which I attribute to the wash I used for the blue fleshy bits. Really makes quick work of big areas and added shading very quickly. I have concluded this will be a valuable weapon in my war against slow painting! So a few shots of my Warmaster Trolls to appease the masses.

Hmm weak pictures this droid takes lousy pics
I guess that Macro Photography Light Box needs to move up the list
The details are all washed out in the morning light

So I guess the remainder of the week looks like this:

1. Build Light Box (inspired by The Strobist's Blog)
2. Base and paint the Warmaster units bases (9 bases altogether)
3. Pick out next Warmaster Unit and prime
4. Clean other minis that were in storage

Speaking of I took a few pics to share of the mess I have to clean up. I'm hoping that a toothbrush without to much pressure should remove the cereal bits without damaging the paint or bases. Once I get these cleaned up I will have everything unpacked except some of my books and the Battletech minis which are still in their original package, or bagged. Anyway, here are the pics...

This is my ASQL Stargate System Lord Army in 15mm. It is a duplicate of one I saw on the Alien Squad Leader Yahoo Group. The Jaffa are from GZG, the Slaves are Magister Militia Old Kingdom Egyptians and the transports are Jawa Transports from Hasbros Titanium line.
You can see the cereal residue here. :(
This box contains my ASQL Terminator Army, Several Full Thrust Fleets and several Warmaster armies.
Well at least I can be thankful that only a couple models were broken (not pictured).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Table Update

Well as you know there was a mishap with the adhesion method that was first used to get our Grass Mat down on the foam. The second method work great however and there was no issue with shrinkage at all. So we finished off the final (for now) steps to protect the board which was to run black duct tape around the edges to help with the boards longevity as well as pull the edges of the board tight without trimming the mat itself. Here are the images from the final table with board. I'm sure you can see the second set of boards beneath the finished ones. These are the start of our Normandy Omaha Beach Landing boards.

Now all that remains to be done is litter it with tons of terrain. I figured the most sensible place to start is with the hills. While my father works on the Omaha Beach Sea Wall I can use the scrap pieces to add some flavor to my hills. Anyway, that is the upcoming project that I will be working on. I'm hoping to get started on that by the end of the week which will give me time to finish painting my Warmaster Trolls tonight and base the three units that are done being painted so I can get better pictures of them. I have decided on how I want to base them. I plan to do something rather generic which I saw on Balagan's Crossfire website. This is how I plan to base my WWII Crossfire figs as well. I like it because it is generic enough that they would not look out of place in any terrain, except maybe somewhere that is itself exotic. Anyway, I'll be off to the painting table now.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The trouble with Tribb...er Tables

Well apparently the white glue we used was to watered down and the mat kept coming right up. So, we used a wood glue and spread it around using putty knives. We then re-applied the mat and smoothed it out with a rolling pin. Finally we added weight to the top to help keep the mat as close to the adhesive as possible. We did not water the wood glue down and now my only worry is what will happen if (when) the adhesive shrinks as glue likes to do. It said it was meant for wood, foam and plastic so I am fairly confident everything will turn out fine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A game table to call my own

Well with just a few touch-ups left on the hobby table and game boards I thought now might be a good time to post some info about it. My father and I started working on it abut a week and a half ago. It started as a table just so we could start work on the "Normandy to Berlin" game boards but the fact that it takes 35 minutes to get to the closest game store has prompted the quick construction of some generic game boards so I can host games from time to time. Of course I only know one gamer out here so far but well work on that next. There is supposedly a group of abut a dozen Warmaster players out here.

So, the table is 4'x6' and is primarily plywood with two 2x6 supports. The legs lock into place so that it will always remain at waist height. That was really the trickiest part was getting the whole table level. But, its done!!! We added some side supports to keep the boards from moving if they get bumped, but as you can see they have gaps so that you can easily remove the boards as needed.

In the beginning there was lumber
Hmm... to heavy in the middle
Better, but not quite there yet
 The game boards themselves are 2'x4', or 2'x8' blue foam laminated to 1/8" masonite (MDF). They are not very heavy but the Masonite should help them survive longer. The generic boards that can be seen in the final picture then had a Grass Mat from Woodland Scenics glued to it. You can then see my father using a rolling pin to apply some pressure to the mat to get out all the air pockets. All that remains to do is test to make sure the glue takes and then attached the excess mat to the sides of the board. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow.

Attaching the Grass Mat
Glue, we need glue!
A little water and then we spread the glue
Removing the air bubbles
The completed table leveled and ready for terrain and armies!
Now that I have a table this should motivate me to get even more done. Huzzah!

Just a few other quick notes. I have unpacked the rest of my miniatures. They will require some cleanup as the method I used to transport them across the country did not quite work the way I had hoped. What I did was tape my loose miniatures to the bottom of boxes then I poured puffed rice into the boxes to keep them from shifting around and getting damaged. I think I would have been okay just using packing popcorn with them taped to the box but as I have never done something like this I wanted to make sure they were as safe as possible. Well they ended up being quite safe. Unfortunately when I bought my puffed rice all I could find was Sugar Puffs... which are sugar coated and at some point during my minis track that sugar coated puffed rice turned into puffed cement!!! Nooooo! So unpacking them became breaking the puffed rice up and sifting through to make sure nothing was lost. It took a while but with the help of my father we got it done. Now they just need to be cleaned. Ugh! Well lesson learned at least.

Finally, I have used my first wash on a miniature. My Warmaster Trolls got a gray base coat over the last few days and tonight I applied a dark blue wash to them. 4:1:1 ratio of water to paint to glaze medium. I want to do a final coat on them but they  look good after the first coat. I have high hopes that it will all work out. Stay tuned for future troll developments.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So I promised earlier that I would make a list of all that I needed to accomplish before I got caught up. Like I said before... I have a problem. That problem is collecting new things and then getting them just to the point where I can get them on the field at the local store, or at someones house that has a board and terrain. Typically this is getting them assembled and maybe so far as primed. I have decided that is not going to cut it any longer if I am going to remain sane. So that being said, I'm the kind of person that is more successful if I have a list of things to do, especially when I get to mark stuff off said list. So here in no particular order is my Gamer to do list.

Paint Warmaster Orc & Goblin army
Paint Warmaster Empire army
Paint Warmaster Dwarf army
Strip and re-paint Warmaster Choas army
Make 10mm Warmaster terrain pieces
Paint Alien Squad Leader (ASQL) "Stargate System Lord" army
Assemble and paint ASQL Alien Grays army
Assemble and paint ASQL "Harkonnen" army
Make 15mm ASQL Scifi terrain pieces
Paint Full Trust Kra'vak fleet
Paint Full Thrust Phalon fleet
Assemble and paint Full Thrust FSE fleet
Assemble and paint Full Thrust ORC fleet
Assemble and paint Full Thrust USNC fleet
Assemble and paint Full Thrust Civilian craft
Make Full Thrust play mat and terrain (ie planets, astroids, etc)
Assemble and paint Crossfire American Company
Assemble and paint Crossfire German Company
Assemble and paint Crossfire Russian Comapny
Assemble and paint Crossfire US Marine Comapny
Assemble and paint Crossfire Japanese Company
Make 15mm Crossfire terrain (European and Pacific)
Paint 30mm Legends of the Old West (LotOW) Outlaw Posse
Paint 30mm LotOW Lawman Posse
Paint 30mm LotOW Cowboy Posse
Paint 30mm LotOW Native American Posse
Make 30mm Old West terrain pieces
Paint 30mm Malifaux Neverborn Crew
Paint 30mm Malifaux Resurrectionist Crew
Paint 30mm Malifaux Archanist Crew
Build Macro Photography Light Box
Build generic game boards
Build gaming table

and finally... a special project I am working with my Father on. A series of game board we are dubbing "From Normandy to Berlin". Which we know will take a while to finish but the hope is that we will be able to follow the allies as they advance across Europe. We are starting with the Operation Overlord basically recreating Dog Green Sector of Omaha Beach. We of course understand that we might have to sacrifice some realism to gain some playability but we are looking forward to the challenge. I will dedicate a post solely to this subject in the near future and hopefully you will read along!

I have quite the to do list don't I. This doesn't even include all the games I want to play. Such as Ambush Alley in 15mm, Battletech (the table-top version), All Things Zombies and my newest acquisition... Warmaster Ancients! I picked up Warmaster Ancients and Warmaster Ancient Armies up from Ebay for a song! Both books for $41 including shipping. Since they have been out of print for a while I could not pass on these even thought I am not yet ready to dive in. I also plan to get into 15mm ACW but have not yet decided on a ruleset to use. I'm still looking around and reading reviews and such. No rush since I have so much on my plate at the moment anyway. But the objective is to get my hobby to the point where I am working on the newest hotness instead of being eight games behind. And these are just my miniature related projects. I am also working on expanding the TRO data for a Battletech to Epic conversion (The original can be found here), Card Designs for "War of the States" and "Mobsters" (the rules can be found here), as well as designs for one of my own card games and soon enough playtesting and design work  for a miniature game designed by one of my close friends.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

32nd Annual Ship Model Show

Held at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, MA which is where "Old Ironsides", now the worlds oldest commissioned warship is docked as well as several other retired vessels. Of course the USS Constitution is the most famous of them. On this trip we did not go aboard but we plan to come back in the near future. I did however get a good shot of the exterior of one of our most famous national treasures.

USS Constitution

Gun ports midship
elegant scroll work on the bow

They also had another ship which was in dry dock at the time the USS Cassin Young DD-793. You can see the Campaign Ribbons and Commendations which show this ships distinguished career going back as far as WWII. I'd like to take a moment to just mention that both these pieces of our history are a reminder of  the generations of young men who were willing to give their lives to ensure that we taste the freedom that our forefathers fought to give us. So in honor of that I would like to tell all our servicemen and servicewomen past and present thank you, for the willingness to serve our country and face dangers known and unknown to safeguard our freedoms.

Finally having admired the view outside the museum we wanted in. The Museum, Model Show and USS Constitution were all free. They of course accept donations and my Father and I both put some money in to help keep these treasures around as long as possible.

We then came into the show room. All the ships were of course under protective Plexiglas except the ones they were taking photographs of. It was a professional photographer so I'm guessing it was for the website or some literature they were planning. So, the following are the just some of the many ships (I think I got about half of them). All of the models had informational cards next to them which told you about the models subject as well as the modeler. It was good stuff. We really had a good time and anyone that appreciates models will really enjoy this show. Afterward we wandered around the rest of the museum learning about the USS Constitution and let me tell you. Wow, just wow! If you don't know anything about this ships storied history you really should read more about it. They did not allow pictures in the museum itself so I don't have anything to share there but I got lots from the show. Here they are...

Fair America; Scratch Built by Bob Laslocky
The Atlantic; Modified Kit by Bruce Howe
H.L. Hunley; Kit Built by Edward D. Parent
USS Dunderberg; Scratch Built by Edward D. Parent
CSS Shenandoah; Scratch Built by Edward D. Parent
USS Vindicator; Scratch Built by Edward D. Parent
USS Germantown; Scratch Built by Edward D. Parent
USS Miami; Scratch Built by Edward D. Parent
USS Haven (AH-12); Scratch Built by Timothy J. Mahoney
George Washington Parke Custis; Scratch Built by Edward D. Parent
USS Calhoun; Kit Built by Edward D. Parent
USS Niagara; Scratch Built by Edward D. Parent
HIJMS Yamato; Kit Built by Jerry Morkeski
Auguste Victoria; Card Model Kit by Ray Crean
The Duel - USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere; Scratch Built by Alex Bellinger. This was by far my favorite model, great looking models and they were scratch bult... and in a bottle!!!
Earl Sigund; Scratch Built by Carlo M. DiPersio
USS Constitution the day before her launch; Kit Built by John Churchill
USS Constitution; Kit Built by Jesse Viola (His first entry and he's nine!!! Amazing!)
HMS Beagle; Scratch Built by Tony Mallia (The ship Charles Darwin sailed on)
Bluenose II; Kit Built by Bernard J. Fournier
HMS Illustrious and Escorts; Kit Built by Ray Crean
Istalena; Scratch Built by Thomas H. Nash
IJNS Akizuki; Kit Built by Ray Crean
Modeler Ray Crean holding his ship for the photographer
USS Constitution; this was a much larger scale model about 5ft long and over 6ft tall. Wow!