Monday 23 February 2015

We Built This City - Test Paint

Just a quick update today.

I've done the test paint on one of the terrain tiles, take a look:

 I'm really happy with the way it turned out, I was a little worried at first as when undercoating the ghost of the circular pieces that are on the reverse of the tile came through the paint, but after I started the highlight coats that went away.

The yellow lines are more vibrant IRL, but other than that the colours in the picture are pretty much what you see.  Although I'm trying to keep it as simple a paint job as possible I decided I wanted the tiles to look a little "lived in".  The yellow lines were achieved with masking tape, masking fluid and an airbrush and came out really well I think.  The dirt on the sides of the roads was achieved using weathering powders (my first attempt at using them), it took me a little longer that I wanted to get the effect I was looking for, but now I know how to do it the rest of the tiles should be a breeze.

One final pic today, proving I was right about the Batman minis fitting the scale of the tiles better, Harley and Mr J were kind enough to help me test the theory:

I still have to varnish it, but it's practically done, just another 23 to go...

I hope you like it, C&C always welcome.

'Til next time, take care


Monday 9 February 2015

We Built This City - Prelude pt. 2 [Secret Weapons Miniatures Tablescape Tiles]

A little later than intended, sorry.

On Wednesday 21st January a rather large parcel was delivered and as mentioned in my last blog post I thought I'd do a light review/first thoughts post.

So, here's how it looks once out of the shipping box:

28mm figure for size comparison...there's one there I promise
In the words of Brad Pitt: "What's in the box?!"
What it looks like when you first open the box.
Each of the 24 tiles are in individual plastic bags and the smaller bag to the left of the tiles contains the connectors for holding tiles together whilst gaming.

Each tile is one foot square (12 inches/30 cm) and certainly seem durable.

Here's a closer look at a couple of the straight sections:

the 2 types of straight.
With a 28mm mini for scale
two 1:43 scale vehicles for scale
 As far as connecting the tile together it couldn't be easier

note the "loops" in the corners
the two types of connector
simply a question of pushing the connectors into place
 The connectors seem to hold the tiles well enough to withstand the usual gaming knocks, but don't hold it so strongly that it's impossible to remove them.

So, my thoughts.  

First the cons:

1 - Let's just talk about the honking great elephant in the room straight away, these suckers weren't cheap.

I ordered them during SWM's pre-christmas sale, but they were still $224.99 (£149.32), then you add the shipping charges. SWM pay the first $25 but that still left $64.08 (£42.60) and finally once they were in the UK I had to pay customs charges of £46.11 before they could be delivered.  Which gives us a grand total of £238.03 (still only a little more expensive than GWs basic Sector Imperialis set though and for my purposes a lot more practical).

So, not a purchase to make if they're only going to see action once in a blue moon.  But as I mentioned in my first post of the year I have at least 5 games I intend to play that I will use them for, and quite frankly the cost just makes me want to get my money's worth out of them.

2 - The road texture on some of the tiles (the 3 straights that have manholes on them, left hand tile in the comparison pic above, and the 2 individual straights) is a quite a bit lighter than the rest of the road sections.

3 - Scale wise the tiles feel aimed more toward the "heroic" side of the miniatures industry.  By that I mean everything on them feels a little larger than life and the Hasslefree mini I used for scale seems a little dwarfed by it all, whereas I think the Batman Miniatures Game minis will fit quite nicely.  Part of the issue is the pavement area, I think the massive slabs give an illusion of dwarfing a normal 28mm mini that if they'd gone with a paving stones texture wouldn't have been there, also the drop from the top of the pavement to the road is about 5mm and some of the ironworks are proud of the surface by a good 2mm (a blatant health & safety issue if I ever saw one).

Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a massive problem for me, once there's more terrain and mini's on the board it won't be as noticeable and if the paving slabs bothered me that much an hour with a scriber and metal ruler would be all it would take to sort it out. Like I said this is just my initial reaction to seeing the tiles in the flesh for the first time.

Now the Pros:

1 - As I said, the tiles feel like they will put up with a lot of wear & tear and the connectors are a nice addition that remind me a little of the old Worldworks games Terrainlinx pieces which gives me quite a lot of confidence in them.

2 - I could never build tiles that look this good, believe me I've tied.  I'm unlikely to use them as a full 6'x4' board and the fact that I can build 2 or 3 smaller boards and have them all be different will make playing/demoing games like Pulp City and Pulp Alley at the club easier as I'll be able to have more games running at a time on decent looking terrain which IMO always helps.

3 - I can see a lot of potential layouts for them, some only coming to me after I saw them all in "the flesh" as it were.  The non-road tiles in particular have sparked a number of ideas that I think would make interesting gaming areas and that's something that really makes me like these tiles a lot.

So, overall I really like them, I may have a few gripes, but they're minor and nothing a little tinkering won't fix if it really bugs me.  I'm also hoping that the extra space that is in the box means they'll do some expansions down the road, or at least release smaller sets of tiles, as there are a few ideas I've got that may need more of a certain type.

Since arriving I've managed to undercoat all the tiles and I'm currently in the process of test painting one of the straights to figure out how I want them to look, I'm hoping to have something to show you on that front in a few days.

So, until then, take care.


Tuesday 20 January 2015

We Built This City - Prelude

So, with the imminent arrival of my terrain tiles from Secret Weapons miniatures I thought I'd make a progress blog about getting it painted up and making scenery to go with it, I'll do a first impressions post when the tiles actually get here (hopefully tomorrow) but for now here's some of the bits I started putting together last year.

Road signs are made from brass rod, styrene sheet and the printouts from Worldworks Games, the streetlamps are from Fenris games.  The Billboard is the same as the road signs except the billboard itself is made using foamed PVC.  The first two buildings are from Worldworks' original Streets of Mayhem range resized to a 6" footprint (originally it was 7") and pasted onto a foamcore shell, the final building is from WWG's Swiftscenics range and didn't need any resizing.

My inspiration for some of the buildings is the Saints Row games (3 & 4 in particular) so I'll be doing some more stores from Steelport before I'm finished, I also have a fair few Stoelzel's Structures buildings I'm planning to put together as well so there's plenty more to come.

Until next time, take care.


Sunday 11 January 2015

Little Lead People

Due to shift changes I suddenly had an unexpected day off work today so decided that, rather than spend the day mooching around, I'd get round to taking some pictures of the minis I finished last year but never got round to posting up here.

First up we have the Pulp City minis I finished:

Giant Hadron

Doom Train

Supreme Zed

Sister Bedlam


And just in case you're wondering, Giant hadron stands at 120mm, here's a pic of him next to a normal 28mm mini:

As I mentioned in my last entry, Pulp Alley is fast becoming one of my favourite games to play, so naturally I have to dig out some old minis to paint up and play with:

These guys are all from Bob Murch's Pulp Figures store and the look is based on one of the groups encountered early on in Bioshock Infinite.

And finally, here are the 15mm minis I finished, all from Khurasan Miniatures:

Vacation Aliens

Space Demon Queen

Space Demons (painted as Royal Guard)

Space Demons (painted as Warriors)

Not Colonial Marines squad 1 (movie themed)

Not Colonial Marines squad 2 (alt)

Federation troopers
All really nice models, now I just need to paint up some vehicles for them and then try to actually play a game with them...

Anyway, I hope you like my offerings this update, I have a couple of weeks off coming my way soon and will hopefully have a project to share with you all during that time.

So, until then, take care.


Thursday 1 January 2015

The Obligatory New Years Post

So 2014 was a year.

After my last post I did get more painted, all Pulp City related, I will post up photos here but for now head on over to my PC Forum post here and scroll down to the photos I put up there.

I still have a bunch of 15mm sci-fi minis to photograph and show but that may take some time.

On a positive note after 4 1/2 years of unemployment I'm now working again, unfortunately at the moment my hours don't give me a lot of painting time as I generally finish at 7pm get home, eat and then just want to crash, but I'm physically getting used to it now, so hopefully I will get back to some semblance of normality before too long.

The biggest upside of the whole thing though is I finally have a steady income and can buy lots of things...which as all hobbyists know is both a blessing and a curse, but what the heck I've been frugal for long enough so decided to celebrate my first proper paycheck with some retail therapy.

So winging their way to me I have a set of the awesome looking Urban Street Tablescape Tiles from Secret Weapon Miniatures (expensive yes, particularly when you add shipping to the UK, but I've been trying to make my own city tiles for almost a year now and quite frankly it's driving me nuts, so I'm happy to pay the price for something that looks that good and will get a lot of use, more on that later).

And I also have this little lot heading to me from Knight Models' Batman Miniatures Game because, well just because really.  I've wanted to get a Joker gang for BMG for a while, (I'm a massive fan of the Rocksteady Arkham games and at one point thought about doing a Joker themed Blackgate gang for Necromunda) so it seemed like a good idea.

So in 2015 these are games I want to try out and play more of:

  • X Wing - recently got into this as a LOT of the guys at my club play it so I know I'll always get a game.
  • Pulp City - still an awesome game and with the Kickstarter stuff due and opponents ready to play I should get more than 1 or 2 games in this year.
  • Batman Miniatures Game - will either have to convince someone to try it or just buy a second gang to lend someone but I hear good things and really want to give it a go.
  • Infinity - with the  new rules out it seems like a good time to get into this game, plus I've had a load of minis lying around for a while that I'd like to finally use.
  • All things Zombie (solo) - been planing a solo ATZ campaign for a few years now, time to give it a whirl I think.
  • Pulp Alley - in 2014 this gave Pulp City a run for it's money as my favourite game and I can't wait to play it more.
  • Super-hero Dinosaur Zombie Apocalypse - why wouldn't I want to play a game with that title?  Rules are being sorted and a number of nice looking miniatures have been released, check out the website and get a feel for the game.  (I think I want to do a Jurassic Park Lost Worldesque group of Dino Hunters possibly using some of these vehicles from Terranosis).
  • Beyond the Gates of Antares - I really wasn't interested in this game, then Warlord brought out the Algoryn...damn it, now I want to play.  The Mass Effect Turian vibe is just too strong for me to resist, plus, free rules (albeit Beta ones) so why not?
Also, after 15 years of being out of it I seem to have accidentally picked up a load of Magic the Gathering cards (and by "accidentally" I mean I actively walked into a shop and said "I'd like to buy those Magic cards please!"), so that's something else I'll be looking to play as well :)

So, most of the games I want to play can use the Tablescape tiles so I think the investment will be worth it and whilst I don't do resolutions I do intend to do what Wil Wheaton says and "Play More Games!" I hope you all will as well.

I hope 2015 treats you all well and all your dice rolls succeed.

Take Care


Tuesday 25 March 2014

There Will be Blood

A quick update today to show off the last of the models for Richard's Thousand Sons:


Hitech Miniatures Terrorizer Morbus

Hitech Miniatures Terrorizer Crusher

Hitech Miniatures Terrorizer Ripper

Terrorizer group shot
 The Terrorizer's from Hitech Miniatures are going to be used as Mutilators as far as I'm aware, they're fun to paint and have a lot of detail, I really like how they came out.

On another note, a friend of mine, Ian, is hoping to take part in a charity bike ride in Africa in November for Teens Unite Fighting Cancer, if you feel inclined he has a Just Giving page for donations:  Follow this link.  If you can give anything it would be appreciated.

'Til next time.

Take care.


Friday 14 March 2014

Welcome to an actual update

First up I'd like to welcome Sidewinder to the blog, thank you for following my occasional ramblings and mini photos.

And on those lines I'd like to show you the two Dystopian Wars Land Fleets that I've finally got painted up for Charlie, first up the Empire of the Blazing Sun:

O-I 'Taka-Ashi' Heavy Walker w/HQ Tower

O-I 'Taka-Ashi' Heavy Walker w/Main Turret

Type II 'Chi-Ri' Medium Tank

Ho-I Class Mobile Bombard

Ke-Ho Small Tanks
There are 11 of the small tank bases as somehow one got into the Kingdom of Britannia sea fleet box instead of a flyer ?!?

And speaking of the Kingdom of Britannia, here is their land fleet:

Sovereign Class Land Ship w/ Cathedral HQ

Sovereign Class Land Ship w/ Mortars

Sovereign Class Land Ship w/Top Mounted Turrets

MKII Class Tank

Cromwell Class Bombards

Terrier Class Small Tank
I hope you like these guys, they were quite fun to paint (if a little tricky in places).

Next up will be some more of Richard's Thousand Sons, maybe even by the end of the weekend.

Until then, take care.