Wednesday, August 22, 2012

it's all about attraction

...or how to get two vehicles out of one.

let's face it, miniature wargaming is not an inexpensive hobby. i'd be lying if i ever said that "i don't spend too much on toy soldiers", or "i've never hidden a purchase from the sadie."

i'm a gamer. of course, i've spent too much money on games, and i have a man-purse for a reason: it's big enough to hide all but the largest of purchases.


...does not fit inside of this.

there are smart ways to game during an economic downturn, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure that your vehicles are flexible when it comes down to their weapons.

i picked up the new forge world mark1c "deimos" pattern predator at gencon. it comes with all the bitz to make both the destructor and annihilator versions. 

drive closer...

...i want to hit them with my sword!

you'll notice that both the main weapon on the turret and the sponson mounted weapons are different. thanks to the wonder that is rare earth magnets i can easily change between an anti-infantry bloody smear maker, and a lascannon toting, tank killing, sumbitch. 

the key to mounting rare earth magnets is twofold:
  1. planning planning planning
  2. knowing your polarity
planning planning planning:
when it comes down to magnetizing a vehicle the more time you take to plan your assembly, the better off you'll be. my assembly plan for the turret was to drill a small hole in the barrel assembly just like i was going to pin the barrel to the turret. i then simply inserted (not glued!) a pin into the barrel, cut it just shy of flush with the mantlet, aligned it with the turret slot, and pressed firmly using the pin to scribe a mark in the turret resin. 

i then used the scribe mark to drill a hole in the turrent, inserted (not glued!) a pin into the turret, cut it almost flush with the turret slot, and used the turret to mark the other barrel assembly. then i used that scribed mark as a starting point for the hole for the rare earth magnet.

here you can see the magnet glued into place after i used a larger drill bit to widen the hole.

knowing your polarity:
once you've mounted the magnet, it's important to test the polarity of the magnets you're using. if you don't, there's a 50/50 chance that you're going to glue the second magnet down facing the wrong direction, and then you've got to drill that bastard out. you will get frustrated and you will use profanity. so save yourself the stress, test and mark your magnets.

for the turret here, i simply connected a magnet to the one mounted in the turret, and used a sharpie pen to mark the side to glue down. then i simply glued it into the barrel assembly.

if you could see the other side of the magnet, you'd notice a blue "x".

the connection is a solid one, and it also allows me to easily remove destroyed weapons. Eventually I'll scratch build a blasted and burning mantlet that i can stick on during a game.

for the weapon sponsons, i did something a bit different. since my magnets were too wide to mount into the body of the weapons, i had to use a ferrous material to work with the magnet.

you can see that i simply widened the hole on the bottom part of the sponson and mounted my rare earth magnet flush. then i simply drilled several small holes in the bottom of the weapon, mounted several cut pieces of a paper clip into the bottom of the weapon, and filed it flush. the attraction is enough that the weapon is held securely, and easily rotates.

that's all there is too it! the biggest challenge is planning your build well, and knowing the polarity of your magnets when you're ready to glue them down.

if you've got questions, leave them in the comments section, and i'll help you anyway i can!

horus heresy boardgame is property of fantasy flight games.

gencon and a tale of personal restraint...

after living in chicago for nine years, i finally broke down and went to gencon this year. admittedly, it was just for one day (woke up early on saturday and drove like a bat outta hell to indy), but it was all that i expected it to be and more.

of course, i forgot to take a camera so the following pics are from my phone (apologies for the quality).

i wasn't exactly surprised by the crowd (i've been to adepticon), but the fact that the hall before the exhibit/vendor hall stayed this full all the time, and that you couldn't walk through the vendor hall without constantly bumping into folks says something about the number of attendees.

i was particularly amused by the fellow in the foreground with his companion cube.
of course, i wanted to check out the privateer press booth, and as you approach, you're met by this fine fellow:

i tried to reach it's cortex, but it quickly became evident that i am not a warcaster.

wandering around i made it to the geek chic booth. the furniture they make is bespoke specifically for gamers and geeks. they had a credenza that looked like an old apothecary shelf for games and comic books, but the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance was this:

the sultan table. all you ever need to geek out after dinner...
fortunately, i did stick to my budget (mostly) and only brought home some forge world additions to my death guard army, and the new khador heavy warjack (does khador have any other kind?)

the new mkic "deimos" pattern predator, a nurgle dreadnought, a death guard dreadnought,
and what shall be built as a khadoran devastator warjack

all-in-all, a great time was had, and i have started trying to figure out a budget for the entirety of gencon next year.

the pale olympics - now with 34% completeness!

manipul leprosius inbound!

manipul leprosius - chosen terminators of nurgle

leprosius lues - chosen of nurgle

reaper assault cannon!
the verdigris in these pics actually shows up brighter here than in real life.

i had a lot of fun adding the demonic eye here.

i'm pretty happy with the unit as a whole, but i may go back and add a wee bit of detail work. primarily with leprosius lues' flesh - tone it down from the light purple to more of a dead flesh gray.

as always commments are welcome!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

i can't stop watching...

it's like the history channel's swamp people meets miniature wargaming! 

i'm just waiting to see if romeo tries to "blowed it up real good!"

that being said, i kinda want these cases for my little mens now. check out battlefoam's line of cases here.

i actually got to check out the case from the video at gencon! it's a bit scratched up and dusty (yay fire dust!), but i didn't see any damage that wasn't cosmetic, and there was absolutely none inside the case.

the pale olympics - manipul cholerus update

howdy all! here we are the day before gencon 2012, and while pretty much everyone i know is headed to indianapolis, i'm staying here in chicago and working on some nurgle.

i've been getting a lot done on my new death guard army, and i've (aside for the basing) completed the first squad. here are some images:

manipul cholerus

cholerus lues - plague champion of nurgle 

chaos icon bearer for manipul cholerus

icon close up - lots of verdigris and rust work, and only slightly out of focus

one of two of the plasmagun toting plague marines.

close up of the verdigris effects on the plasmagun

close up of the verdigris effect on the helmet

the paint scheme uses a lot of dramatic layering with washes and shades to balance out the hard step between some of the colors. you'll also notice a lot of rust and verdigris. that's been fun to play with as well. 

i definitely like the idea of rot, decrepitude, and decay affecting the materials that would make up the armor and weapons. i'm also playing with visually representing suppuration of wounds (draining pus and gunk, yay!)

comments welcome!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

all your base are belong to ironheart artisans.

so i'm futzing around on facebook; scrolling through the news feed to see what everyone has been doing over the past 30 minutes or so.

as i scroll past the feed from dropzone games, i notice that they "like" ironheart artisans, and there's this interesting picture of their movement tray for mantic games' kings of war (a miniature wargame that i have yet to try, but scares me spitless because everyone i know and trust loves it, and i need a new miniature wargame like i need a hole in my head).

ironheart artisans' fmf (fast movment force) system
from left to right, they show just how easy it is to prime, basecoat, drybrush, detail, and flock it to get it ready to play.

according to ironheart artisans' facebook page they "create high quality and innovative products for the gaming community". i'm sure that this idea started either around a game table with a couple of guys noticing that moving all the models in a kings of war game took too long, or just after the game over a pint at the pub. 

it's this kind of creativity and game support logistics that makes me happy. these guys have found a niche and are filling it, much like battlefoam, galeforce nine, army painter, and even forge world. i'm hoping that they'll be just as successful. 

this 10 model movement tray is their first product, but with internet retail and crowdsourced funding, i expect that we'll start to see ironheart artisans produce a lot of game support products for a lot of different games, and some way to order it online.

doing a bit more fb scrolling i notice this on dropzone games' fb page:

so there is a 2x5 (10 model) tray, and a 4x5 (20 model tray) currently in production. 

base prep image property of ironheart artisans
packaged fmf image property of dropzone games

Monday, August 13, 2012

change up. not just for baseball anymore...

this summer has been rollicking along, and it's actually been quite a good one for my little mens. lots of hobbying with friends (and on my own). more than has been done in quite some time. it's nice to return to painting and playing with toy soldiers.

back on the 20th of july, i posted an article about the pale olympics entitled spf geek. in it, myself and several others set some hobby goals to achieve during the month of august.  

well, here are the results so far:

ulceratio taint - chaos space marine sorcerer

manipul cholerus

cholerus lues - plague champion of nurgle
the summonati pestis - a herald of nurgle and attendant plaguebearers

one of the summonati pestis

manipul leprosius

additionally, there are two other plaguemarine squads: manipul ulceratio, a 6 marine escort for ulceratio taint, and manipul bubonicus, another 7 marine squad. you'll notice that with the exception of the terminators, i'm trying to keep the squad sizes to 7. hail nurgle!

the entire list currently weighs in at 1355 points and looks like this:
ulceratio taint and manipul ulceratio (csm bodyguard) -csm sorcerer of nurgle and plaguemarines x6
manipul cholerus - plaguemarine squad (7 models)
manipul bubonicus - plaguemarine squad (7 models)
manipul leprosius - csm chosen terminators of nurgle (5 models)
summonati pestis - herald of nurgle (allied demon hq) and 6 plaguebearers (allied demon troops)

of course, some of you may be wondering what the heck happened to my commitment to completing my khador force to 50 points. the simple answer is games day. 

i have been pondering a death guard/nurgle army for quite some time. i had also been thinking of starting a new army for 6th edition, and at games day, i had the opportunity to pick up many of the forgeworld nurgle csm upgrade packs that i wanted (looking back, i probably should have picked up the dreadnoughts too).

these three events taken separately probably would not have been enough to move me off my original target, but games day is wonderfully notorious about reinvigorating folks' enthusiasm about the games workshop hobby. so here i am halfway through the month and not even a quarter of the way through my target. 

so the big question now is: "will he finish in time?" 

and the big answer is: "maybe?"

i should have manipul cholerus and the summonati pestis finished this week (save for the basing which i'll do at the very end for everything), and the other two squads primed and basecoated as well. next up though is the manipul leprosius. i'm very much looking forward to painting some terminators. august is a long month, but i'm nowhere near halfway done on this force. this one may come down to the wire!

hail nurgle!


Monday, August 6, 2012

jack in. make the run. cash out.

i'm not much for collectible card games. sure, i played magic: the gathering, way back in the early 90's (hell. just about everyone in the pacific northwest did), and i had a nice collection of wotc's release of netrunner but never found anyone that played it, so eventually i gave away my cards and moved on to miniature wargames and euro-style board games.

flash forward to earlier this spring, and fantasy flight games' (ffg) announcement of android: netrunner.

ffg has really got the living card game format locked down, and the fact that netrunner is an asymmetrical competition between 'runner and megacorps, removing the collectible part and replacing it with a deckbuilding strategy, means that everyone at least starts on a level playing field.

today, ffg released a .pdf of the rules and it's chock fulla sexy. the rules seem to be clearly written with lots of examples of play, and there's just enough fluffy text to drape a nice cyberpunk context across the entire game.

you can download a .pdf of the game rules and the tournament rules here.

android: netrunner image property of fantasy flight games

Thursday, August 2, 2012

gd gw games day

so it's been a few years since i attended games workshop's games day here in chicago, and as i stepped through the doors of the donald e. stephens convention center i was carrying a pretty big chip on my shoulder and quite a bit of cynicism, not to mention a man-purse with a sandwich, a sigg bottle full of water, and a flask of jim beam in case of emergencies.

my initial experience upon entry didn't do much to change my attitude. there was a long line to purchase tickets, and i was at the tail-end charlie of said line. i had made a trip out to the battle bunker in downers grove to purchase a ticket the week before, but was told that games workshop didn't send out paper tickets this year. instead you made your purchase at a gw store up to two weeks before, and the tix were mailed to you.

i was told that this kept costs down since it was "too expensive to print up a bunch of tickets that might not get sold", an excuse that had the distinctive aroma of finely aged bullshit. after all, games workshop should have historic data regarding games day attendance versus tickets sold at each store locally.

and the idea that mailing all of those tickets was cheaper than printing them? it just doesn't make sense to my simple little mind.

unfortunately for my inner curmudgeon, that's the extent of the bad experiences.

games day 2012 was, in my opinion, pretty chaosgodsdamned good.

i got to see a lot of old friends (shout out to duane z., a little mens reader. great to see you man!).

i checked out the golden demon entries (and they were all amazing). dave taylor's procession of morr was stunning, and i would've voted for it even if he had not paid me (it's the chicago way.)

fantasy flight games was there playtesting/demoing relic their spin on a 40k version of talisman, only with much more engine under the hood!

sat in on some really great seminars (thanks to travis, tanya, rob, and norm!).

and, like a good games day should, it put the hook in my mouth, and the fire in my belly. i've been toying around with doing a new army for 6th edition of 40k, and i made my first purchases late in the day once the line at the forge world table was gone. 2 packs of death guard conversion sets, the death guard terminator conversion set, and the nurgle csm sorceror.

yep. i've forsworn my soul to papa nurgle. insert fart/poop joke here.

i've even gotten busy putting some together and priming it up...

so all-in-all, games day accomplished its mission. it got me excited about the games workshop hobby again.

well played games day. well played, indeed.