Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Trying to Get Back Into It

There’s a thing about maintaining a blog like this that, when you have taken a break for a while, it’s difficult to get back into the posting. This is partially because there’s so much you could cover, and partially because there’s always some “haven’t posted in a while” update you feel obligated to make in order to tell everyone you’re back and making content again. I’ve typed up probably a dozen of these by now and none of them have been worth reading, so I’ve decided to completely skip that, aside from this paragraph. Instead, I’m just going to get to what I’ve been working on lately.

Several months ago, I decided to invest in several tables worth of Malifaux terrain. The first part of this project was the wilderness set including forests and rock outcroppings. The second part of the project is my own town, wild west style, which I’ve named Confluence.

I don’t have too many pictures yet, but I’ll be adding them as I complete the final details on several of these pieces. I’ll also probably get into more detail about the processes I used a bit later on, but for now, I just wanted to post some initial photos. I hope you enjoy.

More to Come.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Some Malifaux Re-Paints

A couple months ago, I took the time to re-paint a few models from my Seamus crew I was not happy with. While I try to commit this artistic sin as infrequently as I can, there are times when it is necessary. As I play Malifaux more and more, these re-paints address things that bug me every time I take a model out of the case to play.

In this case, the models I were Madam Sybelle and her Rotten Belles. This was partially because Sybelle, unlike her commonly fielded upgrade, was getting pretty banged up after multiple breaks from her base, bent riding crops and
New Sybelle
so on. My decision to do her again was made easier when I received a free Sybelle blister as a participation award in one of our local game days. For the Belles part, I had never really been fond of the paint job for my green belle, feeling like I cut corners and half-
assed her. Gencon 2014 saw fit to grant me an extra blister of the original metals for free, so this was an easy decision as well. When looking at the pictures side by side, I am glad I took the time to go back and do the job correctly. Each of these models looks better and I am pleased to find my painting skills have continued to develop.
Original Sybelle

For my new Sybelle, I kept the color scheme I liked from before, but paid more attention to the details in the palette and made the model much more natural looking. I also replaced the length of her riding crop with brass rod, which makes the ridiculously fragile part much more useful (and cool looking). By the way, this meant I had to remove the original rod, and pin the brass rod both into its handle in Sybelle’s hand, and into the Keeper at the end of the crop; an interesting challenge. I also had the chance to break out some of my new tools, including Citadel’s Blood for the Blood God (from now on, I’m just referring to this as Fresh Blood Effect because….I just can’t). After a quick touch up of Sybelle’s original base, the old model was ready to be retired and the new one was ready for the table.

The next re-paint was on my green Belle. As I mentioned, I was never really fond of her when I finished the model. This was partially because I based her facing the wrong direction, which made her difficult to balance with the parasol outstretched. Further, the whole model looked like a rush job to me and, after fielding it several times, I decided I just didn’t like it anymore.

Like all of the Belles, I replaced the rod of her parasol with a brass rod, this one thicker than that used for Sybelle’s crop. These were not easy conversions, but were well worth the effort, as they make the models far more resilient. As before, I kept the same general color scheme for the green Belle, but made a few modifications to make the paintjob more realistic and subtle. Again I broke out the Blood Effect to add some gore and fixed her to her original base facing the right direction. Overall, I think the new green belle is also an improvement. I didn’t achieve exactly the effect I was looking for on the torso of her dress, as I was going for a sheer top, but I think it works nonetheless.

The pink Belle was not a model I ever finished originally. Instead, she suffered damage to her loose arm during the installation of the brass rod. I had never found a fix I liked, so she sat unpainted until the replacement blister appeared. For the pink Belle, I went with a paler skin tone and tried to make a pink that looked suitably worn by a dead thing. The dress would still be bright and beautiful, but would be soiled and stained.

For anyone attempting this model, one thing I will note is that her arm attaches just over the elbow, a very flimsy joint to be holding so large a parasol. Adding the brass rod helped with stability, but I also had to pin the arm into place and use green stuff to sculpt the sleeve of her glove in order to reinforce the joint. I also positioned the arm to allow the rod to rest on her shoulder, which both helps secure the parasol and looked more natural.

Finally, while working on retouching the bases for the Belles, I made sure to include one for Molly, who had been without since I finished painting her months ago. Her base is in the same theme as the Belles who will frequently accompany her. However, I also added a beaten up and weathered newspaper. I was worried at first that this would be too obvious a choice, as Molly was once a reporter, but seeing the finished model, I am sure I made the right choice.

For now then, it's back to the painting table. I have several cool things to show you, so thank you for coming by and make sure you stop by again soon.

More to Come.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Super Dungeon Explore Vol. 17: Slimes

Several times in the last few months I’ve looked over this blog and started writing a post to get me back into it. These always end up being filled with things like “wow, it’s been a while” or something like that. Clearly, none of those ideas have worked, so instead, I’m just going to dive right back in with more Super Dungeon Explore.

Among my Gencon purchases this year was the small expansion for Super Dungeon Explore, dungeon tiles and slimes.  The slimes come in four different colors and I just couldn’t let them sit on my desk without working on them.

The process was very simple. All I really did was paint the eyes and add some ink to their mouths. One tip I can give is that these little guys have mold lines, but don’t be afraid to remove them. Trimming away the mold lines will leave a dull finish on the plastic, but you can erase this with a coat of glass varnish, which I used on the entire model anyway.
I also decided to go for a different scheme in bases. I’ve been getting a bit bored of the typical grey stone, so the newer models will strive for a more organic look and feel. In this case, it’s a bit hard to see the detail of the base, but are some Malifaux bases using the same scheme. These were painted with ScaleColours, which I am just starting to use. I like these a lot, especially for terrain and bases because it is completely matte and easy to make a dusty and dirty look with some stippling.

More to Come.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Seeing the Forest

Back in August, I showed off some of the rock outcroppings I had created for Malifaux terrain. As I mentioned then, those outcroppings were a proof-of-concept for some techniques and color schemes I wanted to carry over into larger terrain projects. After a couple months, the first set of that terrain in complete.

The last time I made any terrain like this was almost 15 years ago and, back then, there were a lot of concessions made in the name of finishing quickly and cheaply. While those pieces are still in use back in my home town, this new version has surpassed them in almost every way. That was, in truth, the goal of the project. I wanted to revisit a terrain piece I had already done, but do it without any of the concessions, sparing no expense and making it as good as it could be.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working on additional pieces to add to this forest. As I go along, I will be adding some articles to this blog that look at the techniques I used to make these pieces and some tutorials. In the meantime, however, I thought it would be nice to just take in the view a bit:


As always, thanks for stopping by.

More to Come.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oh, Molly Dear...

Back on my hobby table, the 6 Month Mountain Reduction Challenge has begun. I started by doing some basic organizing and deciding exactly what it is I am going to focus on accomplishing in the next several months. First on the list is my Super Dungeon Explore project. With only a few more models left to complete, that should be an easy thing to accomplish. Malifaux is then another priority, as I am eager to get the community back up and running. I will begin by completing the Ressers, as well as some terrain, as we decided it was much needed after our first Sunday game session. 

When I sat down to paint, I managed to knock out the Guild Autopsies pretty quickly. I’ve always liked these models, but I never put them on the painting table because they just weren’t very good in 1.5. Now, however, these guys are pretty awesome and I will be using them a lot more. I strayed a bit from my normal rotted flesh recipes and opted for something that looked a bit more embalmed. This meant very pale flesh with fewer dark washes, focusing mostly on violets and reds to make up the shadows. I spent extra time working on the reds around their opened skin.

It took me quite a while to decide on a color scheme I wanted for the Guild uniforms. As I play Guild as well, I want to be sure that the scheme I choose for the autopsies will also match the variety of guild rank and file that will follow at some point. In the end, I decided to go with a green-grey coat and grey or dark slacks. I like the almost ‘confederate’ look of these guys and I think it will look very good when the Guild get into these colors as well. They will look like a uniformed force, but a distinctly rag-tag uniformed force. To set them apart from their more lively kin, I muddied up their clothes quite a bit with a number of brown and Sepia washes, as well as Secret Weapon Baby Poop and Stone washes. 

After completing the autopsies, I almost randomly picked Molly Squidpidge. More than anything in the new edition, I have been exited to play with Molly as a master. In the past, she hasn't been very viable, but that is all changed now, so I am looking forward to seeing how she plays. 

As far as the model, I'm not sure if I was ever really too excited about it. There was just something that didn't strike my fancy. However, when I started painting my own version, I quickly took it back. Rather than the bright yellows you see so commonly with Molly, I decided to go for a dress that looked a bit more old fashioned and quite a bit more muted.

What I really like about this model is that she is essentially made entirely of 3 colors. You have the violet of her dress, the dark browns of her hair and shoes and the beige that makes up the trim on her dress. Her skin tone was created by using the violet from her dress alongside that neutral tone of the trim, and then I set everything off with just a few hints of color like her green eye shadow. I gave a nod to her usual color scheme in the sunflower in her hair.

Then it was time for blood. I didn't want Molly to appear like she was a gory model or anything like that. Instead, she takes very good care of herself, but is simply unable to avoid making a mess of her
dress when she coughs up blood which, according to the fluff, she does quite often.While the front of her dress has been ruined, the back of the dress is still very much as she would like to keep it, clean and pretty. I think this is a good metaphor for Molly herself. She tries to move on as though she were still alive, but her undeath ends up being something of an inconvenience that keeps coming up.

At the time of writing, I had picked her up and started painting so quickly that I hadn't really decided what base she was going to have. So, unfortunately, Molly is just slightly unfinished, but there will be more from her later.

More to Come.


Monday, October 13, 2014

....actually playing games

Over the course of several blog posts, I have talked about the state of Malifaux in my local community. At its height, you could play Malifaux at one store or another pretty much any night of the week. This went on for a year or so with a large player base that slowly began to dwindle. When you speak to the players in my area, there are several reasons for the wane in players. Some say that the edition change from 1.5 to 2 was enough to kill their interest while others say the Malifaux community here killed itself by becoming too competitive and losing some of the fun. Still others have shared with me that the community ran out of players because it seemed like no one who was playing Malifaux seemed to be having any fun.

Whatever the reasons, I’ve decided to jump into the community again and play my part in re-invigorating the game in my area. With the help of one of our local stores, The Game Annex, we started playing again last weekend. To begin, we are going to play every other Sunday, which will let others get back into the slowly and without having to worry about missing out on any action. Down the road, we will begin to host events and get a bit more organized.
For now, however, we are going to keep things simple.

For the first weekend, we had a total of 4 players, 6 if you count the store owners, who were unable to play due to another tournament taking place. This means everyone got in a game. Of the 6 players total, two of them had not dipped into the new edition, three are only a few months into playing and then there’s me. It was not a bad turnout and I am looking forward to growing the community some more. Also, here’s a neat piece of demographic information. Out of our 6 players we had 2 married couples…very cool.

In other gaming news, my wife and I sat down and played her first (well, first 3 actually) games of X-Wing. We opted to keep things simple and stick to the starter box for our first game, but I think this is going to be one we play often. 

As always, thanks for taking the time. 

More to Come,


Monday, October 6, 2014

Back to More Base-ics: Malifaux

Back to More Base-ics: Malifaux

Now that Gencon is over with, it’s back to the hobby itself. Before Gencon, I completed the proof-of-concept bases I will be using for McMourning and his crew. These particular bases will be used for Guild Autopsies, and are a perfect illustration of what this project is all about. As I’ve been building my Malifaux collection, it occurred to me that I will be building essentially entire factions of models, within which there will be individual crews. However, many models will be used in many crews. This is not like Necromunda, where a model will be used by only one gang. This means that, when basing models, you need to consider how those bases will look both alongside each other and with a variety of other bases that will show up in your crew.

To solve this problem, I am thinking of base themes as parts of a Wheel. In the center, you have the over-arching theme that will run through the entire faction. In the case of my Rezzers, this is Quarantine Zone Ruins. At the end of each Spoke, you have a Master with their own unique theme, such as Seamus and his Victorian Street. Any two Masters can share elements of the theme, but they may be entirely different. 

The spokes themselves are the minions that share something in common with one or several masters, but also with the main theme. Guild Autopsies, for example, are halfway between McMourning and his Institutional Tilework and the general Quarantine Zone ruins, meaning that they can fit in with many other masters.

What this really means is that I can use something like the picture to the left to make sure I have variety and character from master to master, but the faction as a whole will still look good together.

Or maybe I'm just over-thinking this.....What do you think?

More to Come.


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