Sunday, December 9, 2012

Another shot of one of the frigates

Here is a close up of one of the frigates.  As you can see, I have only done the standing rigging.  But I did feel the need to fly the flag from a line and not just glue it to the edge of the sail.
This ship has the sails turned to starboard in a more "natural" sailing position. This does really change the look of the ship.  Now if the spanker sails were available with a curve in the other direction...
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Here they are.  The HMS Amazon, HMS Desiree, HMS Blanche, HMS Alcmene. 
(Name order does not match the picture.)
The first 4 British ships for the Copenhagen battle completely finished.  You can also see in the back ground the next 2 ships in process, HMS Saturn and HMS Ramilles.

These are only 18 months behind schedule. :-(
2 of these had been languishing in a box almost finished for over a year.  I found the flags and bases again a couple of months ago, so I decided to try and get some of these done.  I finished these mid-November.  The hardest part is still painting the hulls.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Boardgame night

Last night I played Alien Encounters with 3 other people at Just for Fun.  The game went very well with Mike D. winning.  Which makes sense, he was the most experienced (he had played before) and it was his copy.  We hope to make Tuesdays a regular thing, but playing many different games, and not just boardgames.

This is a well balanced resource management boardgame.  It uses a Science fiction theme of trying to colonize a planet with different resource types available from Space stations.  each space station has spaces for a certain number of "ship docks", which restricts the number of players that can use the station at the same time.  The main mechanic is the "ship fleet" that each player has.  Each ship is represented by a d6.  the "fleet" is gathered at the beginning of the players turn and rolled.  The "ships" are then allocated to different spaces on the "space stations" to perform actions.  Some spaces require 2 or 3 dice, often matching or as a straight (sequential). There is also a deck of cards of alien artifacts that provide special abilities or actions.  The game ends when a player places their last colony on the planet.  Then the victory points are totalled and the player with then most points wins.

The game is very re-playable, with well balanced rules and smooth game play.  Due to the complexity I would recommend playing with only 2 players when learning, but it plays well with 4 players.   At this point I would suggest it as a good game to play with  friends or family, but it is not a "filler" due to the variety of options and decisions that a player faces each turn.  Analysis paralysis is a danger with this game.
Ratings and summary:
1-10 (with 1=terrible (I wasted the air to talk about it) to 10= Must have it (you haven't bought/ordered it yet?))

I rate this a 6.  I may buy it in the future.  I would play it if someone else suggested it, I may suggest it if the mood is right.  I do not suggest it for non-gamers friends or family.  Takes 1-2 hrs depending on the experience of the players. Requires a medium level of attention to play.

I also found out that I won the June Rebel Minis painting contest held by Just for Fun.  1st Prize was a set of Rebel Minis Alien Greys - the pack said Unarmed, but they all had guns...
I will post pictures of the entry figure when I get it back.  There were only 4 entries, but a win is a win.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sci fi Tank

Here is the third vehicle that I finished recently.  This is a Siler Heavy Tank from Khurasan.
I am planning two small opposing forces for use with Tomorrow's War. 30 figures and a vehicle or 2 on each side.  And this is the main tank for the first side.

This is a very large tank.  I will post a comparison soon.  You may notice that the miniature is shiny.  I used a "magic wash" to add shadows and bring out the details on this miniatures.  It has since been given 2 coats of Dullcoat to flatten it.  I have found that the magic wash gives vehicles really good shading very quickly.  I have been trying to develop a painting technique that allows me to get a good paint job in a short length of time. 
With the size of these vehicles, getting a smooth, consistent paint coverage is a challenge.  I decided that using a colored primer would be good idea.  I painted this with Army painter army green primer/base coat.  This has worked very well, but at ~$14 a can, it is hard to change colors for a few vehicles.  This has started me looking into airbrushes again.  And the cost of a good air brush and compressor is still in the $200-300 range, which is steep but not out of reach.  Some of the paint manufacturers are starting to make decent acrylic paint that is airbrush compatible.  So, if I am going to keep doing vehicles and terrain I think I will be acquiring an airbrush in the near future.

Another APC

Here is a another APC from Khurasan.  This one is similar to the vehicle in the movie Aliens.  This goes with their Space Demon line of creatures.  How could I resist?

Recent Sci Fi figures and vehicles

I have been on a big 15mm Sci-fi kick lately.  With the combination of Osprey's Tomorrow's War rules and Khurasan Miniatures fabulous figures, I have found a new obsession.  This is an APC from Khurasan that I have just finished.  The trooper is also from Khurasan.  This is one of 3 vehicles that I just finished.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Some of the current projects

Since the last posting several projects have come and gone across the painting table.
First is the ongoing saga of Swiss pike for DBA / Impetus.  For Impetus I need 12 stands of pike minimum.  I have been using 4 DBA elements to make up each stand.  That is a total of 192 figures.  I have 18 elements done, which is 72 figures.  Only 120 to go.  Once I get 24 DBA elements done, which is enough for BBDBA, I will start using fewer figures for the Impetus only stands.
Here is the most recent 8 elements finished:
Next is the begins of Sci-fi in 15mm.  With the purchase of Tomorrows War rules, I am hoping to run some skirmish games, both at the hobby shop and at conventions.
The first figures painted are some Space Demons from Khurasan Miniatures:

I have painted 37 figures so far with another 32 to go.
Next is troops to fight the S.D.'s.  These are 16 troops from Khurasan that include a K-9 team.
These are in process and should be done in the next couple of weeks.
Next is more things for the troops to fight.  Zombies!
Jim L. painted about 20 zombies from a box I got from Rebel Minis.  They have been based and clear coated.
Plans include more zombies and eventually some tabletop action.

Some ongoing maintenance required was to re-base a 6-Blade element for my Swiss DBA army.  I originally I based them on a 40x30mm.  The rules call for a 40x40mm, so I have re-based them.

Recently, the group I game with decided to do a "Swap Meet" for the 15mm figures we have all accumulated over the years.  I had purged most of my excess 15mm figs years ago so I brought cash.
One of the things I picked up was 4 Mounted troops to use as cataphracts.  I got these from Jeff who had nearly finished painting them.

Now for the "Big Rock" on my painting table.  Ships for fighting Copenhagen.  I finally put them all in the same box and then cleaned them up and mounted them for painting.  This is most of Parker's squadron, except for 2 frigates that are almost complete and a 64 gun SoL that is soaking to strip the paint.

The total ship count is 13, 8 unpainted, 2 in process, 1 having the paint striped and 2 only needing flags.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Painting Langton ships

So, one of the on-going projects (and procrastinations) is building and painting Langton models for fighting the Battle of Copenhagen.  Currently working through the British ships.  The paint scheme seems simple, black sides with a yellow gunstipe and the gun ports painted black.  This is also known as the Nelson Checker.

Now the gun ports on these models are approximately 1mm square.  This requires brush control.  Brush control.  The ability to put the paint only on the model where it belongs.  This is a long standing issue for me and I can usually work through it.  Not this time.  To get these done I have to build up the gun ports by painting the gun stripe yellow, painting the gun port black (which seem to end up round or oval).  Then I go back and cut in with the yellow to make the gun ports square and the same size.  The only issue is that the yellow does not cover over black in one coat.  I am having to go over the black 3 or more times to get good coverage.  Which leads to 3 times to chance to screw up the other work.  I decided to try GW's foundation paints and use the Darksun color (A dark mustard color) to cover the black and the hopefully give one coat coverage for the yellow.  The first sample work turned out usable. So I dove in and used the foundation paint to cut in the gun ports on 3 2-deckers.  Lots of little black squares.  I sat down to go over the foundation paint with the yellow and hopefully finish up the gun stripes in one sitting.  This was not to be.  The foundation color shows through just as much as the black.  What???  I checked the yellow paint bottle, gave it a vigorous shake and tried again.  Still really poor coverage.  I worked through rest of one side of the first ship.  No change. Poor coverage.  I am now looking at 3 or 4 more coats of yellow.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.  I am not sure what caused the first sample to work out.  I went back and tried this again on the sample figures (Swiss pike with parti-color yellow and black pants.)  Not able to duplicate the first success.  
I will be looking into some different brands of yellow.  I am currently using Reaper Master Painter Series.  I am not sure what caused the sample to work out.  And I tried this on the sample figures (Swiss pike with parti-color yellow and black pants.)  Not able to duplicate the first success.
The local shop carries P3, GW paints, and some Vallejo paints.  I may even try some "craft" paints from Michael's or Joann's.  This issue is the main slow down in getting these ships painted.  Who wants to do a main detail on the figure 3-6 times?  I know I do not.  So, 3 sessions of painting that only leads right back to the place where I started, only with 3 more coats of paint on the ships (and the ships look worse...).
Well that is painting this weekend.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A whole new year!

Welcome to 2012!
This last year has been turbulent with change, evolution and transition.  We have relocate the household from Michigan to Illinois.  We moved into an apartment initially.  We sold our house in Michigan and bought a home in Illinois.  We moved into the "new" house and have been working to unpack and settle in.
I have been able to keep a good schedule with playing DBA most weeks.  my track record for DBA in 2011 is 12 wins, 17 losses and 3 results unrecorded, for a total of 32 games logged.  I may have played a few other games, but I wrote down most of the engagements and results.  I also played several games of Impetus and a few games of Check Your Six.
I did not get to as many conventions as I had planned.
I did not get as much painted this year with the paint desk moving from here to there and over that way and back again.
I did get several DBA armies painted by other people.  Jim painted a Macedonian and Early Imperial Roman armies in exchange for figures.  A great deal and even better paint job.  If he only had more time to paint...
I ordered  a Viking army and a Saxon army from DPS (Dragon Painting Service) in Hong Kong.  I was not as satisfied as I had hoped. I asked for the figures have the shields painted white (for LBM transfers) and the figures unbased.  The figures came with shields white which was good, but all based.  The bases were finished niccely, but I will have a very hard time putting some of the transfers on.  More work *sigh*.  And the paint jobs were okay, but not great. Several of the figures show signs of repair, mostly weapon handles and at least 2 broke during shipping.  Still an okay deal for the money.  If I order from them again, I will just order their regular stock items.
I have comissioned one of the local guys Steve R. to paint an Early Bedouin army and Early Achaemenid Persian army, for $100. He paints alot of 40k - very nice work just not alot of historical.  They should be done in the next month.
I am planning on continuing to add to the DBA army set (gotta get them all!).  
The next gaming project is a DBA campaign.  I hope we can organize the group and play a long campaign.  Related to that we finished the year with a 5 round mini-campaign on Dec. 30th at Mike D.'s house.  We used the campaign rules in the 2.2 rulebook.  They worked okay, but still allowed too much opportunity for players to sit and wait while others play battles.  We are working on some rule changes to address the issues.
 We have all looked at the 3.0 draft rules.  They are a big change in how the game plays.  We have not tried them yet and I may wait until they are published.
As for the Copenhagen project, I have not made much progress.  I have 2 frigates that only need flags.  2 frigates that have the hulls done and are waiting on sails to be painted.  I have started 3 ships of the line, which have the hulls about half done painting.  I have 6 more after that to get the first squadron done.
I continue to work on Swiss for DBA/Impetus.  For Impetus, an army at 400 pts. I need around 120 pike figures.  For BBDBA, a triple Later Swiss army, I need 96 pike.  I have 40 pike painted.  And there are other figures needed for both armies.  That is alot of figures to be painted.
Other projects on my desk are:  an Ancient British army for DBA.  They are about 50% done.
Swiss pike, Swiss halberds, Swiss skirmishers, Swiss artillery, Swiss light cavalry, Swiss knights, a Swiss camp for both DBA and Impetus.  Lots of Swiss.
DBA camps for Vikings, Saxons, Romans, Bedouin, Persians and Macedonians.
15mm sci-fi.  Marines, aliens, vehicles, robots, and zombies.  I have picked up an assortment over the last year and want to get some on the table.
My paint station is still not set up well, so I am not getting as much done as I could.  (Yah, it's the paint stations fault...)

2012 looks to be a busy year for gaming.  The DBA gaming on Thursday's will continue.  Impetus on every other Sunday will continue.  The group is looking at trying Lasalle Napoleonic rules in 15mm so I am checking out what I need to play.
Also we are looking at doing 15mm Sci-fi skirmish using Tomorrows War rules.

I hope to go to 2 major and 2 minor conventions this year.

One goal for this year is to get the house organized enough to have guests and to get the gaming room setup so I can host gaming at the house occasionally.  The ping pong table needs a new top surface.  It has scratches and scrapes and is warped.  I may just sand it and screw some MDF to the top (with  a lot of screws) and paint it green.  We will see.  I have to get many other things done before I will need the table ready to play.

If I can figure out how to post from my phone I will try to do more updates, maybe even during play on Thursdays.

Good luck to everyone! May your dice always give you what you need (except against me!).

Have a safe and happy new year!

Happy gaming!