Thursday, September 29, 2011

Charity Painting Opportunity

Hey, I'm back! Sorry about going MIA from the blog the past couple of weeks, I've been really busy with family stuff and all that jazz. No time for gaming, blah blah blah... let's get on with it! :)

A few minutes ago I was flipping through the new issue of No Quarter Magazine and right away noticed mention of the upcoming Foodmachine 2011. The idea behind Foodmachine is to encourage Warmachine and Hordes players to organize a bunch of events between November 1st and January 2nd as a type of food drive, the entry fee to play being canned food for donation to local food banks. Participants in these events are allowed to purchase "Cheats" for use in their games by bringing along more canned goods. The more you donate during the event, ever more powerful cheats become available for use. All the details about this charitable cause, rules packets, and info about the various cheats can be found by clicking the link already provided.

If you're more of a painter than a gamer, however, there is another way to get involved. This year the organizers want to auction off a complete Tier 4 army, to be made up entirely from painted miniatures donated to the cause. Here are the details for this project copied from the main website:

Painting for Charity

We’re also kicking things up this year with a companion event for all the hobbyists out there. Orange is the official color of hunger awareness and so we wanted to combine that aspect of the charity into Foodmachine. Project: Orange Crush (Hunger) gives hobbyists the chance to devote their special talents to the cause.

We've drawn up a Tier 4 Shae army full of pirate models. We’re asking the community to sign up to paint a model from the army in an orange scheme of their choosing. The army will then be auctioned off for charity. Privateer Press' studio painter, Matt DiPietro, will be painting up Captain Phinneus Shae and the Commodore cannon in an orange-based paint scheme. In addition, this year's Formula P3 Grandmaster, Zach Lanier, will be painting up Dirty Meg for the army.

To participate, follow the link (here) and sign up to paint one of the models. Glue the model to a normal base but do not add any flocking. After you have finished painting it up, mail the model to Matt at Privateer Press:

Project Orange Crush
c/o Matt DiPietro
Privateer Press
13434 NE 16th St STE 120
Bellevue WA 98005

Privateer Press will be basing all the models and the photographing them in preparation for their eBay auction. Your model must be at Privateer Press by December 2nd, 2011.


Pretty cool, right? I dig that our gaming community embraces these charitable causes and so I've signed up to paint a model for the army's unit of Sea Dogs. Pictured below is the smart-looking fellow that I'll be working on to help CRUSH HUNGER... um, pirate style of course:

Along with painting my own miniature, if possible I'd like to recruit some additional painters to work on the rest of the Sea Dogs that I have. Therefore if you are interested in painting a pirate for charity, but do not have any of the requisite minis that are being sought for this project, I'll gladly send you one of my own scurvy bastards by express mail. Just be sure that you can have him painted and shipped out in time for your mini to arrive in Washington by the December 2nd deadline. If that sounds good to you, go to the website's google document and sign up to paint one of the remaining Sea Dogs. Then send me an email or leave a comment indicating which of the following minis you want to work on for Orange Crush (Hunger).

Sea Dog Crew Leader

Sea Dog #2

Sea Dog #3

Sea Dog #4

Sea Dog #5

Alright, that's it for now. If anyone is interested in painting one of these dudes for a good cause, please let me know as soon as you can. So until next time... Aargh! ;)

EDIT: I will update this post as I hear from interested painters, making note of which models have been selected and which are still available. The ones chosen so far are: Sea Dog Crew Leader, Sea Dog #2, Sea Dog #3, Sea Dog #4 and Sea Dog #5. That leaves the following still available to anyone who would like to contribute some of their time to this charitable effort...

Nothing's left!
All the miniatures now have painters!

Thank you again to everyone who has gotten involved, I really appreciate it!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Follow Your Blisstonia

After a few more setbacks over the last week concerning my nascent Chaos Daemons army, I've decided to put that 40k project aside for now and return to more familiar ground. For whatever reason I couldn't get my Slaaneshi mojo working so instead I have switched back to the Blisstonian 9th, my Simpsons-inspired Imperial Guard regiment. Also at this point I would much rather spend my time painting than building another army. I still want to do the Daemon thing but that can wait as it is not something I want to rush or do half-heartedly. Thus onto my beloved Blisstonia...

When I was last working on these guys I had become bogged down with the very first penal squad of the army. I may have to rethink their color scheme or at least change my approach to painting it as I remember those Guardsmen not being very much fun. In the meantime however I am going to begin by painting Techpriest Smithers and his squad of servitors, the Drones of Sector 7G. This seems appropriate too in that they were the first unit I included when developing the theme for this army. I'd also always planned on painting them in a different set of colors from the rest of the army, so that way I can work on them without knowing exactly how I will proceed with the main portion of the Blisstonian 9th.

As evidenced by the extremely early WIP photo seen above, I only sat down to begin painting these servitors a few minutes ago. Therefore I am eager to get back to it while I still have time this evening. Hopefully I can get more done on my Blisstonians than I did with the Slaaneshi daemons before I once again change directions. Despite how fickle I can be, that still shouldn't be too hard considering how little progress I actually made on the Chaos Dameons. Hmm, maybe Tzeentch would have better suited my hobby temperament after all.

Happy painting and gaming!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pericles Class Fleet Carrier WIP

I'm still magnetizing the turrets for my Covenant of Antarctica ships, now having placed 20 magnets of 40 total, but I feel I need a break from dropping magnets and swearing. Therefore I have also started painting my first big ship for Dystopian Wars, the CoA Pericles Class Fleet Carrier. It is a lovely model with lots of neat little details to discover as you paint. So far I've had a lot of fun working on my Dystopian Wars stuff and this one is no exception. In fact I suspect these larger ships will be even more enjoyable to paint than the little guys. It's off to a good start at least. :)

The hulls are washed and dry so I'm ready to begin picking out all the details. Due to the funky design of this vessel I plan on painting almost everything before assembling the launch ramps and command bridge. I can't imagine trying to paint the interior of the ship if it were already glued together. Yikes!

Okay, back to painting....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tiny Magnet Blues

Oh, joy... little magnets. Lots and lots of little magnets. Yippie.

Okay, so I'm not too thrilled about working with these tiny little magnets (N52, 1/16" x 1/32") and neither are my apparently oafish fingers. Therefore it's been sort of a slow, frustrating evening at my hobby desk as I plod through magnetizing all of the turrets for my Covenant of Antarctica fleet. At this point in the project I have in place 14 magnets out of the 40 total that I will use on the battleship, the three cruisers, and the fleet carrier. This is certainly not one of my favorite hobby activities but I suppose it's worth doing this now rather than risk losing turrets every time I play. Even just them falling off the ships throughout the course of a game would quickly become annoying so avoiding that at least motivates me to keep going.

It was not all magnetic tedium however as I also managed today to clean and prime the Pericles Class Fleet Carrier for my CoA naval group. The two-tone priming turned out better this time than on the last set of minis, but still not as well as I had done on the original test batch. Again I do not think I was conservative enough when spraying the blue primer over the initial bone-color paint, but with this color scheme it doesn't really matter as variation among models is fine and in fact desirable. I just hadn't originally intended them to be quite so blue overall, but regardless I like the results so I'm sticking with it. If I can find the time I hope to start painting the fleet carrier tomorrow.

Alright, that's all I have to report for now. I'm going to do a little bit more with the magnets before calling it quits for the night. Happy gaming and painting!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kazak Assembly Line

After much dithering over how to do the bases for my first 300 point Infinity army, I've finally decided to just set that question aside for the moment and begin work on the miniatures. My favorite line of models from Corvus Belli for this game are the Kazaks of Ariadna, so tonight I am starting off with them, having put together an army list based on an all-Kazak theme. I've not yet found any local Infinity players so in order to learn the game and hopefully introduce it to others I plan on painting an opposing 300 point army soon after finishing this one. Therefore once I'm actually playing and understand the game better, I will then start to think about how to tweak and expand my initial selection of miniatures or perhaps even look into additional factions.

Here though is my jumping off point into Infinity:

Ariadna "Kazak Heavy Patrol"
GROUP 1 (Regulars:10, Irregulars:0)

Line Kazak - Combi-rifle / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/9C)
Line Kazak - Combi-rifle / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/9C)
Line Kazak - Combi-rifle / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/9C)
Line Kazak - AP HMG / Pistol, Knife (1 SWC/29C)
Line Kazak - Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife (1 SWC/28C)
Tankhunter - AP HMG, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife (1.5 SWC/40C)
Tankhunter - Autocannon, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife (1.5 SWC/40C)
Veteran Kazak Lieutenant - AP HMG, Light Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW (1 SWC/61C)
Veteran Kazak - T2 Rifle, Light Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW (0 SWC/49C)
Scout - Ojotnik, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/26C)

300 points, 6 SWC

As a total newcomer to the game I have no idea if this would at all be an effective army or not to use. I'm not worried about that too much as my only interest at this point is to have some painted minis that I like so that I can begin the learning process. While working on my Kazaks I will sort out what I want to do for the other 300 point army from a second faction. I really like the aliens of the Shasvastii Expeditionary Force but haven't been able to come up with any lists that also have a lot of appeal for me. Also I get the feeling they might be sort of a funky choice as a learner's army, thus I'm still looking around at the other options. Pan Oceania or Yu Jing, maybe? I am keen on painting some aliens though so perhaps I could stick with the Combined Army and focus on the Morat instead of the Shasvastii.

No matter whom I end up choosing to work on next to be enemies of my Kazaks, it is certainly a fun dilemma to have. Although Ariadna is my favorite aesthetically and fluff-wise so far, all of the factions look great to me. I'll likely just continue experimenting with army lists until I find one that really interests me and that seems like an enjoyable matchup for my first army. I am of course open to suggestion as well.

Happy painting and gaming!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Witchling Stalkers WIP #2

I'm right now waiting for some things to dry so I'd like to do a quick painting update. I am back to work on those Witchling Stalkers for my Guild crew and so far tonight I've mainly focused on the greenish glow coming from the creatures' eyes. My recent experience painting the flyers for my Covenant of Antarctica fleet was apparently good practice for this and helped me sort out how I prefer to build up the blend of colors. This time though I took the green mix to an almost pure yellow to try to make the colors glow even brighter. I'm not positive but I think this was also my first intentional, albeit crude, attempt at OSL painting... yikes!

I may give the eye glow one more highlight with a little spot of white added in to try to make the color really shine, but otherwise that area should be finished. Along with working on the eyes, tonight I'm also doing some initial shading on the Witchling Stalkers' tattered rags and robes. I am therefore still not very far along with these weirdos but nonetheless I hope to finish them off in the next couple of days.

Okay, it looks like everything is dry enough now so it's back to painting these miniatures. Phew! After a day of toddler-based insanity it feels nice to relax and chill out with my paints and brushes for a little while. :) Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finecast First - Cockatrice

I went to the LGS today to pick up a copy of the new Ogre Kingdoms book, but while there I decided it was also time to buy my first bit of Citadel Finecast, a Warhammer Cockatrice from this summer's Storm of Magic wave of product releases. After hearing so many stories of disappointment from gamers about their own Finecast purchases, I had not been in a rush to buy any myself. The Cockatrice however looked cool to me and seemed like it should be fun to paint, plus I have some homebrew ideas in mind inspired by Storm of Magic for which this model would come in handy. Still though I was rather anxious about buying the Cockatrice since it comes in a fully enclosed box, thus concealing the condition of the miniature and any potential defects it might have.

I was therefore initially quite relieved once I had opened the box as there was no obvious damage that I could see right away. Everything looked pretty good but then as I worked on the pieces more and more the little imperfections became noticeable. Most troublesome of these was the fit of the wings to the body which required a fair amount of trimming and even now feels like a fragile and insecure bond. Despite all the hype about how easy Finecast is to assemble, I think pinning the wings onto the body might have been an appropriate precaution.

Along with a somewhat wonky fit for the wings, the other problems were of the sort that most folks have probably come to expect from Finecast. There are a few areas that have been affected by air bubbles, mainly on the sides of the tail where many of the tips of the scales are damaged in such a way. I also found some voids on the monster's back and the little spines at the base of his tail all look instead like dripping pipes. The final problem I found was that the tip of the biggest claw on the Cockatrice's tail had broken off while still attached to the sprue. I may try to fix that by cutting down to the right size the end of Tyranid Scything Talon, but I probably wouldn't mind just leaving it the way it is now.

Despite these flaws overall I am more impressed with my first Finecast miniature than I had thought I would be, though this might have something to do with my expectations being so low. Even with the wings not fitting quite right it still seemed like it was an easy model to assemble. Requiring only minimal clean up and other preparatory work, building the Cockatrice did not take very much time at all to do which was really nice. The other thing that surprises me is that I am ultimately not bothered by the relative light weight of the model, having believed it would feel overly fragile and delicate. Perhaps most importantly, the level of detail on the miniature looks quite good and especially so on the wings and mane.

Therefore as my first experience with a Citadel Finecast miniature, I think the Cockatrice is, while not without its share of flaws, nonetheless a good addition to my collection and I am in general happy with my purchase. Had the marketing people at GW not completely oversold the virtues of Finecast upon its introduction, I would likely be more accepting of those casting mistakes that I did find on my mini. As it stands I find them mildly irritating but otherwise I am relieved that there was nothing worse, and certainly nothing so bad as to make me consider returning my toy monster. Hooray for low expectations! ;)

Happy painting and gaming!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Laborious Day

Well I hope everyone had either a great Labor Day, or else a great Monday, depending on whether or not this was a holiday for you. I'm more or less taking the night off from the blog in honor of the occasion, although I have kept myself busy today cleaning and organizing my hobby space for the first time since moving into the new house. In the process I'm finding some neat things that I haven't seen in a while, such as my old set of Gorkamorka toys.

The big box has been opened but everything is there and still on the sprue, while the two boxes of Ork Boyz remain unopened. Hmm... I wonder if I could track down some more of the vehicles from that era and start a Gorkamorka campaign. Then again maybe I should just sell the stuff and be done with it. It's not like I've gotten much use out of them in the previous fourteen or so years, and I imagine there are still people who would have a blast with this game. Whether I keep the Gorkamorka gear or sell it off, this was nonetheless a nice find for the day. Groovy.

Okay, that's it for now. Tomorrow I'll get back to my usual blogging nonsense. Happy gaming and painting!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

CoA Flyers Finished

Okay, they're not completely 100% finished yet. I still need to spray them with varnish but otherwise I've now painted the Ptolemy Class Bombers and the Tiny Flyer tokens that come in the Covenant of Antarctica naval box. The bombers look a lot like they did the last time I showed them on the blog, having only added highlights to the metal areas, the orange canopies and windows, and the glowing green rotor blades. It's all pretty subtle though so the changes might not be noticeable in these pictures. I love these models and am quite happy with how they tuned out.

Ptolemy Class Bomber Squadron

The giggle-inducing CoA Tiny Flyer tokens however look fairly different from how they did last night. I took some good advice and pressed on with my plan, painting through my momentary hobby panic. I am thankful that I did as these Tiny Flyers ended up looking nicer than I had expected, likely better than they would have had I not botched my original color scheme. As for the glowing coil that makes up each drone's midsection, I opted in favor of expedience and decided not to repaint anything, instead leaving them as a mix of colors to denote what type of tokens they represent.

I have to say that the green ones are still my favorites of the bunch. I agree that having them all the same glowing green color would help to visually tie together everything in my fleet, but for now I am willing to forego that level of consistency in appearance. I may want to paint all my future drones with green coils but I can accept this first batch as they are. Also this way it might be easier for me to keep straight the different types of flyers as I learn the game. Nonetheless at this point I think having all of them with green coils and squadron markings on the wings or wingtips would look the best. I'll save that however for another day as I would rather continue on to the next part of this project.

Fighter Plane Squadrons

Dive Bomber Squadron

Recon Plane Squadron

I was going to work longer on the bases of these tokens but then ultimately chose to keep them very simple and plain. At first I wanted to try to blend and stipple over the top of the bases several various shades of grey to hopefully mimic a cloudy, overcast sky. While I think that could have looked really cool, there's also a good chance I would have just made an awful mess. Therefore I wanted to make the bases seem as unobtrusive and neutral as possible.

So moving right along I hope to finish painting the three squadrons of Diogenes Class Frigates either tonight or else early tomorrow. I may try to magnetize the turrets for the rest of my ships but I currently don't have enough magnets for anything other than the Pericles Class Fleet Carrier. I'm having a lot of fun working on my Covenant of Antarctica miniatures and overall feel good about the color scheme for this fleet. It could be premature but I am also starting to think about what I would like to collect as a second, rival fleet to go up against my South Pole scientists. It will be tough to choose as I like just about equally each of the four other major powers in Dystopian Wars. If anyone is particularly partial to one of them, I would love to hear the reasons why.

For now though I suppose I should just keep on painting. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

CoA Tiny Flyers WIP

I've hit a couple of snags tonight while working on the Tiny Flyer tokens for my CoA fleet. Due to an early mistake I had to change my plans for these little buggers and I'm not as thrilled with the revised color scheme. Nonetheless I will continue on with it and perhaps plan on picking up a 30-pack of flyer tokens once they're released which I can paint as I had originally envisioned. Initially I had wanted to the flyers to be based on the same blue scheme as the rest of the fleet but have instead opted to paint them in a mostly metallic set of colors.

The Tiny Flyers deployed by the Covenant of Antarctica are quite different from those of the other major powers in Dystopian Wars as they are in fact remotely operated drones. They thus have several notable differences in how they function in the game. Further the CoA cannot make use of any Torpedo Bombers so that all of their drones are classified as either Fighter Planes, Recon Planes, and Dive Bombers. I am using the color of the central coil as a means to distinguish each of these types of tokens.

Fighter Plane

Dive Bomber

Recon Plane

The ten Tiny Flyer tokens that I get to include for free with my fleet I have chosen to organize into the following squadrons: two squadrons of three Fighter Planes each, one squadron of three Dive Bombers, and lastly a single Recon Plane that is its own squadron. I primarily chose that arrangement of flyers however so that I would have at least one example of each type of token to paint.

I'm a little anxious about how this batch of flyer tokens will turn out but fortunately they don't represent too large of an investment in either time or money, especially as I would have wanted to buy a pack of flyer tokens anyway just to get their stat card. I do still hope that I can salvage these ones as I could then use the differently painted tokens as a way of further distinguishing my squadrons. Plus I have a feeling I'll like the revised color scheme more once I am further along with the tokens. That in turn is good motivation for me to return to painting them right away. Goodnight!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Witchling Stalkers WIP

I thought I was going to have more of an opportunity to paint today but with family commitments it wasn't to be. But hey, at least a little brush time is better than none. Therefore over the last couple of hours I've started working on my three Witchling Stalkers included in Sonnia Criid's Guild starter box for Malifaux. It took me quite a while before finally settling on how I would like to paint them, and if I can pull it off I think I will be really happy with how they turn out. We'll see what happens though as there's still much more painting to do on them. At this point I've only managed to put down the first layer of color onto these models so there's not yet much to look at... but it's a start! :)

Those are some creepy looking dudes, I like 'em a lot. I'm going to paint for a little while longer tonight as I do not know how much more hobby time I will have during the next few days. I will be busy having fun with my family and so probably won't have much of a chance to work on miniatures. I hope everyone has a fun weekend ahead. Happy painting and gaming!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Frontline Infinity

I'm taking a little break from the hobby whatnots tonight as another round of family visitors arrived earlier today. Thursdays are nominally my Infinity day for blogging, although during my first month back to diceRolla I hardly did anything at all related to the game and so it was skipped a few times in my weekly rotation. This is personally disappointing for me as Infinity is one of the games which I am right now most excited about. I am eager to become more familiar with it and I look forward to playing the game as well as painting a bunch of miniatures from Corvus Belli's beautiful range of models, it's just taken me longer to get started than I had hoped.

Therefore I've been sort of frustrated by these largely self-made delays in getting underway with Infinity. Fortunately to help me get the regular Infinity-fix that I have been craving, not long ago I started reading an awesome wargaming blog called Frontline Gamer that is written by an unabashed fan of the game. There is a lot of excellent content on the blog concerned with other games besides Infinity so I recommend you check it out even if that one particular game does not interest you. The Infinity articles however are the main reason that I've been digging through Frontline Gamer's blog archives as they are not only very clear, informative, and well written, but also the passion the author has for this game is infectious. Therefore tonight I would like to highlight a few of my favorite Infinity articles that I've found over at Frontline Gamer. Here is a selection of them:

Infinity: The best game there's ever been? Part 1 -- The start of a thorough discussion on why Infinity kicks so much ass.

Infinity: The best game there's ever been? Part 2 -- A continuation of Frontline Gamer's thesis on why we should all be playing Infinity.

Infinity: The best game there's ever been? Part 3 -- Umm... part 3, right? Yes, just in case you need more convincing this one is about the Infinity community.

Building an Infinity army (plus how not to do it) -- Along with covering a lot of important points to keep in mind while deciding whom to take to war, this article is also an awesome introduction to the game and goes over many of the key features to playing Infinity.

Infinity factions Haiku's : A really fun article offering a summation of each of the factions for Infinity, presented in the form of a haiku. Perfect!

There are of course quite a few other Infinity articles posted at Frontline Gamer, those that I have highlighted here were as I said simply my favorites. Thus if you're interested in the game I encourage you to visit Frontline Gamer's blog as it looks to be a great resource, and not just for Infinity but a slew of other games as well. Frontline Gamer is also currently participating in the HoP Idol competition at the House of Paincakes blog network so check there too for more hobby goodness. Voting for week 2 has just begun should you want to help decide who will carry on to next week's round. (Hint, hint.)

Alright, that's it for now. If you haven't previously done so, take a moment when you can and go visit Frontline Gamer, I think you will enjoy it. Goodnight!