Category Archives: Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk table, so far

tableshot

Hi everyone. Above you can see my cyberpunk-themed table so far. Well, the good bits anyway. I cut off the parts that were just more empty road. This is about 4′ by 4′, and not enough terrain for Infinity, but it’s almost enough for a 6′ by 4′ 40k game already.

It’s coming along pretty well I reckon.  It looks suitably grotty and dark with splashes of colour, but to be honest the whole thing is a bit too dark in real life, I think.  I might take Porky’s advice, and lighten the asphalt. Or maybe buy some light-coloured tiles from the hardware store to lay over it so I have options.

As always Like if you like it (and you can find the damn button), and if you have any questions or comments, shoot away.

Have a good one,

James

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Cyberpunk terrain: skate park and industrial skip

Here’s some terrain I finished a few days ago.

The skate park:
skatepark
And the industrial waste skip:

bin bin2

I’m particularly happy with the skate park because it’s modular, so it’s great for setting up a varied table, and at first glance it could just be a bunch of generic urban shapes rather than an actual skate park.

For both of these pieces I did what I usually do: sprayed them quickly with a base colour and a highlight, glued the posters on, then scribbled some pastels and graffiti on and sprayed with my ink/water rain mix. Then I matt-sealed the whole thing. The only new element this time was that I bought a white paint pen from the art store for white graffiti, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Five bucks well spent.

The great thing about scenery is that you can stop wherever. I think these are good enough for the table right now, but I can always come back and add rust, metal chipping, more graffiti, whatever. And I fully intend to – I just don’t want to go too far, and make the scenery as detailed as my models, because then I worry that it overshadows them a bit.

Funny how we variously call it “terrain” or “scenery.” I’ve noticed I switch between the two terms a bit. I suppose “terrain” implies that we’re thinking of it in strategic terms, as an element of the battefield to be considered and contended with during the game. But “scenery” implies its main purpose is to make the game look better, and increase our immersion in an imaginative sense. Those two ways of looking at it are an example of the strange dual nature of miniatures wargaming right there: simulation and spectacle at once.

Until next time,

James

 

Back online

Well, that’s a relief.  I’m back online from home, after nearly four months.  Some linesmen came from the phone company and replaced two of the phone lines near our place, and now it’s all finally working again.  The first thing I did was download Shogun: Total War 2 from Steam, which I bought before we moved and never got to download or play.  Now my computer is bogged down with 21 gigs of Samurai goodness.  Whether I’ll get to play it soon is another matter entirely, since I have a bunch of editing to do at the moment and Dragon Age Inquisition is still slowly burning along.

Enough about everyday things!  To blogging! I may have been… hasty about implementing format changes to this blog.  It seemed like a good idea until I actually did it, and then I was wracked with nightmare visions of hunched, hollow-eyed readers muttering curses against me.  All they want to do is comment on your weird post about how Japanese ultra-nationalists sound like 40k Ecclesiarchy priests!  Why don’t you let them, James, why?

Anyway, stay tuned. I have built and painted some cyberpunk terrain using this Tek Dek modular skatepark from Toys’R’Us:

IMG_0031

And this odd piece of desk furniture from a dollar shop filled with bits I’ve collected:

IMG_0030

Oh, and these artworks I got from around the net:

Pics of the completed scenery coming up soon.

Take care everyone,

James

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

Cyber City OEDO 808

Here is episode one of the anime I mentioned in my last post. I chose the UK version because it’s the one I saw and loved in high school, back when all anime in the west was dubbed.

You’re welcome.

More cyberpunk scenery: noodle bar + scatter terrain

I’ve been working on more scenery for Infinity, and I’m starting to realise that not only could it be used for any cyberpunk game, it could be used for any sci-fi game, period. Even though Warhammer 40,000 has its own range of hideously expensive skull-bedecked terrain these days, I’m imagining a game fought over my cyberpunk scenery and I’m thinking it would give it a nice, old-school feel.  You know, back when it was OK for an Imperial world to look like this:

Field_Police

Ha ha the punk is taller than the marines.

Anyway, I’ve made some stacks of boxes out of glued-together 1/2″ wooden blocks, and this Hello Kitty money-box from a dollar shop, suitably weathered and graffitied, will do nicely on the table. Or on top of a building even.

It even glows when I turn it on...

It even glows when I turn it on…

2014-09-23 15.06.19

The noodle shop is from BP Laser Terrain.  It was a bit of a challenge to put together, but it’s one of their hardest kits, so fair enough.  I’m particularly proud of the scrubbed-out “Kempei” written on the roof.

Below are the images I chose for the screens on top of the noodle bar, since you can’t really see them in the photo (not to mention one of them isn’t actually on yet).  The first one is by a Japanese singer/illustrator I have just discovered called Aki Akane:

I think her work is very cyberpunk, even down to the slight creepiness.

I think her work is very cyberpunk, even down to the slight creepiness.

 

Extra points if you can identify the 90's anime this screenshot is from.

Extra points if you can identify the 90’s anime this screenshot is from.

So that’s it for today.  Have a good one,

James

The death of my D&D game, and other news

A lot has been happening to me lately, both within the realm of this blog’s scope and outside of it.

Firstly, my D&D campaign has stalled.  One of the player’s partners is very sick, and so they are moving to Queensland to be closer to her family.  This is a very hard time for them, and obviously the game is of no consequence in the face of such things. Still, it’s a little sad.  The campaign was just getting off the ground, and was shaping up to be perhaps the best I’ve ever run.  This is always a risk with role playing games.  They can be very emotionally investing, like tuning in to your favourite TV show (mine is Orphan Black at the moment by the way – haven’t enjoyed a show this much since Buffy), but even more intense.  And in my experience they more often than not peter out, always ending before their time.

Maybe when things settle down for them we can play by Skype or something.

I also have some good news.  Since I quit my PhD I’ve been scrounging up low/unpaid work on the side as an editor and proofreader, which I really enjoy. I’ve started proofreading an upcoming cyberpunk skirmish game by a British designer, and am really excited to know that my name will be in print as an editor.

I’ve also been selling off my 40k stuff, and while I didn’t get as much as I’d hoped for my Iybraesil Eldar, one of the bidders contacted me and commissioned me to make him a female Ulthwe farseer on a jetbike.  I’m pretty stoked: I know not everyone likes my dirty painting style and let’s be honest, there are commission artists out there far more skilful than I am.  But it really made me happy to get his email, and to know that I’ll be paid for doing something creative.

Finally, just a little thought to finish off.  I’ve been playing Shadowrun Returns on my laptop and it’s really fun.  It even has a level editor!  I love messing with them.  Anyway, it’s made me realise that what I really want is for Infinity to be Shadowrun, only without all the silly elves and orks and magic.  I want a modern cyberpunk RPG that isn’t science fantasy.  But then, Infinity almost is an RPG.  You could certainly play it that way.

I guess that’s why I keep wanting there to be a viable and widely accepted Mercs faction.  Instead of being someone’s military, I want to be a team of shadowrunners: street scum – maybe even ateks – hired to do illegal black ops.  With cyber-enhancements and mirrorshades and cargo pants and leather jackets.  That would be fantastic.

Note: if you read this yesterday (13 March), I just edited it a bit because I realised it might have come off as a criticism of Infinity, which is not what I meant.  I think I just became aware that while there are many similarities, Japanese and Western cyberpunk are not quite the same.  The Western genre tends to be more dystopian and focuses on stories about low-lives.  Infinity is a great game, but the clean, ordered, military focus puts it firmly in the Japanese style of cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk Clothing

design_Command_Line_t-shirt

And no, I’m not talking about putting goggles on your head and sticking wires through your jacket.

I’ve been looking for a good, tough, rain-resistant messenger bag to carry my books around in for a while now, after wearing out a series of temporary tote bags from clothing stores.  I’ve had my eye on Think Geek’s Bag of Holding. I’ve been a proud Dungeons and Dragons player on and off since I was a boy, and I want that D20 logo.

The only problem is that it’s a Think Geek exclusive, and like many American companies they have an agreement with certain courier sevices guaranteeing them cheaper shipping within the USA at the cost of monumentally, ridiculously expensive shipping outside it.  Think Geek now offers budget shipping to Australia for small parcels, but unfortunately this bag is not one of them.  As of the time of writing it is on sale at 33% off (so get on it if you’re in the USA), but even so the shipping is significantly more expensive than the bag.  I just can’t bring myself to do it. I never pay more for shipping than I do for the item, it’s one of my Rules.

So I was looking online, trawling for alternative bags that looked good and weren’t obviously poor quality, when I came upon this place: memetic tees.

I’m a bit of a sucker for cyberpunk designs on clothing when they’re done well.  The only Kickstarter I’ve ever backed was the tabletop skirmish game Ghosts of Heifei, and I did it mainly to get a T-shirt.  Sadly, most cyberpunk designs I’ve seen aren’t the greatest.

Memetic Tee’s designs look pretty flash to me, and the quality looks good too.  I can’t vouch for them at all since I haven’t ordered anything (yet), but I’m pretty sure I see a cyber ninja hoodie somewhere in my future.  Plus they ship to Australia at reasonable enough prices.

design_Tessier-Ashpool_Ninja_t-shirt

I just thought I’d share the site for any other sci-fi gamers or science fiction fans reading this who might be interested.

All the best and stay safe in the meat world,

James