Monthly Archives: October 2014

Moving house and a new D&D game

I’ve just finished packing all of my miniatures, painting and modelling gear away in boxes in preparation for moving house.  Our lease is up and we are getting out of our current place, which has never suited us.  I’m doubly glad, since the landlord has reacted badly to news of us leaving – even though I warned him it was likely several weeks ago. My partner has never been happy with how often he wants to come over and make repairs, or work on the garden, or something. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s a relief to deal with a real estate agent again.  Renting privately involves too many emotions and vested interests. At least it has this time.

Anyway, since I won’t be doing any painting for a while I thought I’d mention that I’ve been secretly running a D&D game again, with the new 5th edition rules.  The players are: my partner; two of her old friends from art school; and the guy I shared my office with in the philosophy department back when I was attempting my PhD. Only my partner has played before, but the other three are enthusiastic and so far are playing like old pros.  It’s a really good group.

The new 5th edition rules are pretty snazzy too, I should say. They may be my favourite iteration of D&D so far, so expect a Ronin Review soon…

Infinity Asura

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Yesterday I finished painting my Asura armed with a spitfire for Infinity.  I’ve always wanted to paint this model and I wasn’t disappointed.  It just has so much character, she looks so powerful and coldly perfect.  Plus she’s not too heavy on the detail.

I was going to go with a Game of Death Bruce Lee tracksuit, but when I looked more closely at the model I discovered she had open sides on her leggings where I was going to put the stripes.  In fact, she could best be described as an armoured cyborg body with some spandex stretched over it.  This nearly always happens to me when I sit down to paint Infinity models: areas I thought at first glance were flat turn out to be covered in sculpted detail.

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I still wanted the yellow and black though, as it signals danger in the natural world and I thought it would look cool. So I thought why not give her black cyborg skin?  The ALEPH non-Greek troops are all named after Hindu beings after all, and I used to have a spooky and awesome poster of the death goddess Kali in my room when I was younger.  She had black skin, red eyes and skulls all over her.  I wonder what ever happened to that?  I don’t remember it much after I met my girlfriend come of think of it…

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Aaaanyway.  Asura “Kali.” Good code name I reckon. Also, is it my imagination or does this miniature’s face look a lot like Australia’s Sweetheart™ Miranda Kerr?

Gratuitous Miranda Kerr picture.

Gratuitous Miranda Kerr picture.

Exactly the same! Except for the glowing red eyes and armoured flesh. Image copyright Corvus Belli.

Exactly the same! Except for the glowing red eyes and armoured flesh (Image copyright Corvus Belli).

Next up are my Irish warlord and hearthguard for SAGA, and then maybe a Domaru or a Tau Hammerhead. I’m really enjoying just flitting around painting whatever I want right now and experimenting with different techniques and ideas. I used glaze medium on Kali for the first time ever and it made the yellow much easier to work with.

All the best,

James

SAGA: Viking warlord and hearthguard

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I haven’t forgotten about SAGA.  Here are my first finished models: the Viking warlord Ragnar the Unlucky, and four of his hearthguard.

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I wanted to try something different in my approach to these guys, so I decided to go with all simple, old-fashioned techniques and not get bogged down in details. The other thing I wanted to do with my SAGA models was something I’ve never done before: no metallic paints at all.  I thought if all the colours on the models were flat it would make them more unified and down-to-earth.

Firstly I sprayed them with Army Painter bone undercoat (which, may I say, is a bit glossy.  But it turned out OK, I guess). Then I washed all the cloth and hair colours in, blocked in the shields with solid colours, then washed the whole lot with brown ink.  Lastly I did the metals.

The metal was the most complex bit, but I went for a very simple non-metallic metal effect. I tried to give the vague impression of metal with a few strokes of light grey and then white over a dark grey base. Finally I washed the metals (after the models were sealed) with black and brown oil paint – a trick I learned from one of those big-ass Forgeworld Masterclass books. It was really easy – mainly because I didn’t stress about accuracy.

The bases were done with Gale Force 9 Marsh Blend.  They’ll be fighting my Irish warband (next up on the table after my Infinity Asura), and since the Irish are the ones being raided, their environment determines the base.  Soooo… peat bog it is!

Ragnar has part of a runic spell I copied from Wikipedia on his shield.  He’s called Ragnar the Unlucky because he and his crew accidentally landed in an Irish bog next to some mean but dirt-poor tribesmen, instead of near a nice fat church.

Ragnar has part of a runic spell I copied from Wikipedia on his shield.  He’s called Ragnar the Unlucky because he and his crew accidentally landed in an Irish bog next to some mean but dirt-poor tribesmen, instead of near a nice fat church.

I like the grim guy all in black.  I shall call him Snorri.

I like the grim guy all in black.  I shall call him Snorri the Happy.

I’m really pleased with these boys.  They look hard as coffin nails, and not sweating the details made them fun to paint.  I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve painted chainmail. Not since Warhammer Fantasy Battle in the early 90s probably.  Too long!

Even more cyberpunk terrain: billboard + big building

Work continues on the terrain for my Infinity table.  I’m really enjoying it. Terrain is not something I’ve ever really turned my hand to before – I’ve always let other people take care of it.  I’m planning a table that’s partly MDF kits from the excellent BP Laser in Brisbane, and partly scavenged “termite” terrain as befits my roots in old school DIY wargaming.  I think they’ll combine well for a nice scummy-looking cyberpunk scene.

Last time I mentioned I needed to complete a billboard for the noodle shop, and I was going to use some of Aki Akane’s art.  I changed my mind about the specific piece I was going to use.  It was slightly too trippy. So I went for this one instead:07_141719141

And this is how it turned out. I’m really happy with it:

Apologies to Aki Akane.  Image used without permission.

Apologies to Aki Akane. Image modified without permission.

The revolutionary graffiti on the billboard above is specific to the Infinity setting. It says “Kempei,” with the English phrase “stand up.”  Years and years (and years) ago, I studied Mandarin Chinese at university before I realised philosophy was more my thing.  I may have mentioned this before. I don’t recall much spoken language, and I can’t read the characters, but strangely enough I can write them.  It’s amazing; a year of writing hundreds of the buggers repetitively has given me a muscle memory for making the strokes.

So I looked up the characters and I was a bit nervous, but I just took a deep breath and then copied them out before I could think. And it worked! $5000 in university course fees well-spent I say.

Here is my last BP Laser building.  It’s just an indeterminate large building, again with revolutionary graffiti on the roof.  I’m getting cocky now it seems:

bigbuilding

 

phonebooth

And here is a BP Laser phone booth.  Keisotsu Yoshi is waiting for a call…

From here on in it’s deoderant cans and found objects, all the way.

Till next time,

James

First game of 7th edition Warhammer 40,000

Yesterday I finished playing my first game of 7th edition 40k.  It was only a 1500 point game and it still took forever, so we played it out over a couple of days.  That was a good idea as it turned out. It really mitigated the twitchiness that sets in when I play pretty much anything for longer than a couple of hours.

This was my list, the Kings of St. Arkham and the Fallingstar Cadre:

Company command squad (Nork Deddog, camo, autocannon, melta gun, medic)

Lt. Col. Winter (primaris psyker level 2)

The Kings (Veterans)
Forward sentries, autocannon, 2 plasma guns, grenade launcher

Cadian Deserters (Veterans)
Grenadiers, power fist, heavy flamer, 2 melta guns, chimera

The Rats (3 ratlings)

Battle Angel (Vendetta gunship)

Storm Giant (Leman Russ executioner with multi-meltas)

Hanzo, Commander Fallingstar (detailed here)

Fallingstar Cadre (12 fire warriors, shas’ui with markerlight + carbine)

The Blue Lady (Hammerhead gunship)

You’ll notice that the veterans have odd load-outs by the old “specialisation or death!” standards of 5th edition, which was when I last played properly. I’m really just trying some new things here. They worked out really well actually so I don’t think I’d change them much, if at all.

The game was mostly a lot of fun. I was winning for a good part of it, but ended up losing by 3 points.  Which leads me neatly into the things I like and don’t like about this new edition… Continue reading