Tuesday, December 31, 2013

T. U. R. T. L. E. Power

Not teenage or mutant and definitely not ninjas.
 Another Super Dungeon Explore achievement. I finished two rollers last night. I also completed painting my Burning Gels, but unfortunately I have no picture of them to share. Now I just need to varnish these fellows. Short post today, and still no end of year wrap up, but you get what you pay for, right?
In all seriousness, happy new year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Von Drakk Gap Victory

I got some green stuff from GW last night. Not quite a deal, but at least I have it now. With any other bases I would have just glued some receipt paper over the holes, but since the bases are already textured, I get to sculpt the flagstones into the putty I'm using. This is not such a bad thing, it's just time consuming. Good thing I have a job, eh? Yep, once again I'm doing hobby stuff here at work. Call it consolation for the awful end to an awful season for Washington's pathetic NFL team. I will not sully the face of my blog by mentioning them here by name.
What good came out of the game is below:
Von Drakk villains and then some.
 Yep, the bases of my Von Drakk Manor villains have all been filled. Not just that...
Von Drakk heroes & Nyan Nyan.
 ...The heroes are good to go as well.
Base gap lacking.
Not too much content today, just pictures for you. Painting here would be nice, but I'm already pushing it. (^_~)*

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Closing The Gap (Or Not)

Bat butt. Also base gaps.

Well, last night I pulled out my epoxy putty to go about closing the above holes in the bases of my Von Drakk Manor miniatures. Turns out it, over the years since I bought it at my local(ish) model train store, it has turned into a brittle roll of not epoxy putty. This sort of brought my base fixing aspirations to an abrupt halt. Today I have nowhere to go with my minis (at least not here at my desk), and it is unlikely that I will be able to finish my pre-painting necessities before the new year. I'm a bit strapped for cash, and without putty and primer these fellows will have to hang around unloved for a while until finances dictate my ability to get the items I'll require to make them as spiffy as possible.

Annoyed EV is annoyed.
This is okay however, as I have pulled out my Caverns of Roxor stuff to get back to painting the Rock Top Gang tortoises included. They are quite a hassle, make no mistake, but all I will need to finish them is a $4 pot of paint. Much more reasonable.

The reason for the hassle is their shells. They are a very dark brown, and I have not the color to properly highlight them. This is one of the few instances I hope for the usual translucent properties of Citadel paint as this will permit me to build up highlights slowly, as opposed to my usual banded highlighting.

I'll try to go into the exact process I'm using later. For now, suffice it to say I'm using a great many layers to paint these fellows.

I'm also planning on putting up images of my long since finished Fire Gels. I'm also well into the Burning Gels, and they'll be up as soon as I finish them. Which will be finished first? The Gels or the Rock Top Gang? I don't know. It will depend on which one holds my attention better and longer.

Friday, December 27, 2013

SDE Update- The Mold Line Massacre of Von Drakk Manor

Yep, that's my desk.
Lots of work has been put in tonight, and lots of mold lines have been removed. These minis are rather interesting to clean up, as the mold lines, while small, are difficult to remove. They go across detail, they go down jaw lines, and they go across hair at bad angles. This has been a test of my patience, and I won. Now for the real test. It's difficult to see above, but there are gaps in every last base above. These gaps need to be filled with green epoxy putty, and sculpted to match the rest of the base. This is not horribly difficult with the proper tools, but it is an unnecessary hassle. I'll power through- I have a game to listen to, and nobody in my building to worry about, so I can sculpt away. Let's see what kind of damage I can do here.

Irken No More.

Sandy bases abound.
Today has been very productive. As you can see above I have now based every miniature in my "Tau" army, and I have encountered an issue. I hate the antennae I have added to my troops. Passionately. This has led me to (with pliers) rip every antenna out of my minis heads and go back to square one. They are no longer going to be Irken. I have had too much of an issue with finding the correct basis for my minis, and I am no about to start sculpting every last little thing. This is a cop-out, I know, but I have to protect my sanity here. My fingers too. I had the dremel slip on me as I was trying to drill a hole and it got perilously close to my hand. Not good.
Counts as Crisis Suit.
My conversions are not ending, however. I didn't like the head that came with this robot, so I swapped it for a bead just as I did with the bigger boys. This will give the army a more cohesive look as the heads of all of my mechanical minions will look the same. The fellow above counts as my Battle Suit Commander with two Fusion Blasters. You can't see it from the front, but I also added some thrusters to the model's back so that it will look like it will be able to boost around the board in the manner of Jetpack troopers. What sets this fellow apart from the other three "battle bots" (I'm working on a better name, believe me) is the aerial coming from his back. As you can see I shaved the bolts off this fellow in the same way as the Leviathan.
My "Ethereal" flanked by his two recon robots (Markerlight Drones).
I have also put together my "mini bot" models (by which I mean putting them on their bases). I fully intend to replace their heads as well, but I'm not too sure I can find the correct sized beads at the craft store, so their default heads will remain attached until I can find suitable replacements.
Ready for boostin'.
Finally, I added thrusters (well, most of the way) to the Leviathans. I fully intend to cover up the holes that are visible there, and I intend to do it with whatever I use for the minibots' heads. I just decided that these are supposed to be Jetpack Monstrous Creatures, so they should look the part. Good thing I had these resin jump packs lying around.
That's it for right now. I brought Von Drakk Manor to work with me to remove mold lines and fill in gaps in bases. I know I most likely shouldn't be doing this at work, but come on! I'm not even supposed to be here today!!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

For The Glory of Irk!!! Also, Christmas. Kill Team Too.

Playing around with my phone's collage function.
Well, most of my Irken force has arrived. I got a box from Zombiesmith on Monday, and then a box from Hydra Miniatures on Tuesday. I've put together all the included minis, and as you can see there are a lot of warriors in my army.
All is not well in EV land though- I started drilling the holes in the heads of the minis to put the antenna into, and things could be going better. They're ending up all over the place in the minis heads. They are not being drilled in the places I would like, and this is causing the models to look... Not Good. I'll have pictures later, but once you see them I think you'll agree that things have gone awry. Perhaps (most likely) it is because I am using a Dremel to drill out the holes. I really wish this weren't the case as drilling 122 holes by hand will be a nightmare. Not to mention the wear on my hands. I'm going to give it a shot on a few more minis, but right now I don't like the look of things. I'll stick to it though, as this is sort of a fun thing for me (in theory) and I really don't want to admit defeat here.
More exploring of Super Dungeons.
Next up is Christmas. I was a good Vassal this year, so my family got me Super Dungeon Explore: Von Drakk Manor. This both pleases and irks me. Now I honestly do not know what to paint. Listen to me here; I love, repeat love the aesthetic of SDE, and I still have most of the Caverns of Roxor to paint. This places my SDE queue along the magnitude of my Irken, and they need less (read no) fiddly drilling into tiny metal heads. Just mold line cleanup and base hole patching.
White primer is needed for both, so no difference. What else is there? Likelihood of use. This one's a really tough call. I'm not sure here. Demitra and I are less and less likely to be able to get a full game of 40k in any time soon, as my "job", despite my protestations, has begun to fiddle around with my hours. This reduces our Tuesday Gaming Time to being long enough for some Infinity or X-Wing, but not really much more. Super Dungeon Explore does not fare much better here. The game is fun, and I do have one person interested in playing, but as far as I know that's it. It's a really tough call.
This is worth the price of admission.
Finally, on the whole 40k note, I went ahead and downloaded my first Games Workshop digital book, Kill Team. For those of you who don't know what this game is, allow me to explain. Kill team is for those of us who like to take an occasional break from the legion-sized battles so common in the 40k universe. It is the polar opposite of Apocalypse. Kill team is about one or two squads of elite troops who infiltrate into no-man's land or even enemy territory to accomplish a vital mission. This is the scalpel to regular 40k's sledge hammer.
Every miniature, despite being purchased as part of a squad, deploys and plays as a unit consisting of a single miniature.
I love this way of playing 40k.
Now, this version of Kill Team (for those of you familiar with the game) is tighter and brighter. They have tweaked several things that made original Kill Team... A little unbalanced. New composition rules are in place for your team, which are:
- 0 HQ, 0-1 Elite, 0-2 Troops, 0-1 Fast Attack, 0 Heavy Support.
- Must consist of 4+ non-vehicle models.
- Nothing with more than 3 wounds.
- No vehicles with more than 33 total armor across the total of all three values or more than 3 Hull Points.
- No Flyers.
- Nothing with a 2+ Armor Save.
Now, I disagree with the 2+ save rule (as this removes the super-fluffy Grey Knight Terminator squad suicide mission option) but all the rest I am down with. There have been Kill Team events where the "elite fighting force" consists of a single Riptide (not exactly subtle). Big vehicles (and especially flyers) would just plain remove playability. Lots of wounds means things like Trygons & Carnifexes, which again are not exactly the "elite fighting force" the designers professed to envision. There is also the ability to have the elite hero/villain surrounded by a bunch of mooks, which I also kind of like. It's tough to play against, but as Demitra will attest to, it's not unbeatable by any means.
Further tweaks can be found in the Specialist rules. For starters, you Leader now cannot be a Specialist. Instead he gets a sort of "mini Warlord Trait" that can either drastically alter the game, or in a few cases do just plain nothing. Secondly, the Special Rules your Specialists can take have been tweaked. Gone is the ability to give Shrouded to your heavy weapon trooper (or anybody at all). The Special rules have been broken up into categories- Combat, Weapon, Dirty Fighter, Indomitable, & Guerilla. Your three Specialists must choose their abilities from amongst these groups, and a group may not be repeated. Special Rules are now clearly defined as to what kind of weapon they can be attached to. For example, a Fleshbane weapon may only be a close combat one.
Death Watch: the original kill team.
A personal favorite of mine is to attach Haywire to a Splinter Cannon. Now, not only does it shred any model that gets in its path, it will glance pretty much any vehicle to bits in a single volley. Yep, interesting combinations of Special Rules and miniatures abound in Kill Team. I've found a fair few, but I'd be tipping my hand were I to reveal any more.
I've been thinking up various Kill Teams over this last week. Purifiers in a Razorback, a Tau incursion team, Dark Eldar raiders...

Most likely naught will come of this but maybe, just maybe, I can find some like-minded individuals who would be up for a game.

I've rambled long enough. Happy Holidays to you regardless of which one, none, or all you observe, and thanks for reading over the last year. I'll see about an end or year roundup in the next five days, but failing that I'll see you in 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Big Stompy Robots

"You made the fires worse!"  "Worse? Or better?"
Here they are! Yep, I've finished up the two models which have arrived for my Irken invasion force. They're the 15mm scale Leviathan Crusader from Dreamforge Games. These will count as Riptides with Heavy Burst Cannons and Twin-Linked Plasma Guns (they're kind of hard to see, but they are sticking out of the chest in the armpit area).
How the model is "supposed" to look.
I decided that the head was too "human tech" looking and went with a more dome-shaped head by gluing a glass bead into place. I also didn't like the way the power plant looked, so off came the smoke stacks. Finally, I cleaned off every last rivet on the model to give it a smoother look. Demitra commented that the model was a bit small to represent a Riptide, but then everything is a bit small in my army. I'll give you a side-by-side once I get around to it. Personally I think they're plenty big, so I'm pleased.
How about the assembly process? Why bring this up? Because it is a nightmare. The pieces are poorly labeled. The instructions are confusing and in a couple of places just plain wrong (in particular one step where the parts are numbered incorrectly). Unless you cannot find a mini to fill in the space of this model, avoid this thing like the plague. I cannot stress this enough- I have been modeling for as long as I can remember, and I have not hit this level of frustration in years.

Now continues the waiting game. Will my Irken arrive soon? How about my Megadoomers? My various robot servants? We shall see, but honestly I'm not holding my breath. Most places have closed up shop for a while, so unless the minis I'm waiting for are already in the mail (as with the soon to be Megadoomers- though on a slow plane from England) They just plain won't show up on time.

Looks like it's Super Dungeon Explore time!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Irken Terror Arrives... But For How Long?

Well, at least part of my army has arrived. My big stompy robots came in the mail yesterday, and I am pleased. They are much larger than their box suggests, which means they fill out the oval bases they go on rather convincingly. I am pleased because, despite them being noticeably smaller than Riptides, they're still big. Especially when compared to my "Irken to be". I did a bit of "conversion" (if you can call it that) to the models, but this is best saved for a post with pictures.

Suffice it to say, I'm on a roll here.

This actually worries me a touch. Why? Because I don't want to be diverted. Already I am putzing around the interwebz checking on various other minis. This is, in a word, stupid. I need to focus. Here's the problem; I am missing some very key parts to the army. For example, no Irken. I know that Josh over at Zombiesmith runs his business out of his garage. I know that he is a two-man operation. I know these things. Unfortunately I am impatient. I have a lot of work to do, not the least of which is drilling two holes into each of the little buggers' heads to put antenna into. This is one of those times I would prefer resin to metal. Drilling holes into 61 minis' heads will be quite a process. That's 122 holes (Dremel time). That's 122 antenna to be clipped and glued into place. That's 122 gaps to be filled on 25mm bases. I'm game, but other projects beckon.

Nyan Cat.
Take, for example, Nyan Nyan over here. I got her for Super Dungeon Explore, mainly because she's a "limited run" mini. Now, I have yet to see a single SDE mini disappear- Candy & Cola, the Herald of Vulcanis, and Vandella the Succubus are still going strong, but dang it if I didn't want the mini just because she's a catgirl. Besides, maybe they did a more limited run of Nyan Nyan.

Yeah, sure.

What I'm getting at here is that I have many, many Super Dungeon Explore minis waiting to be painted. Pretty much the entirety of The Caverns of Roxor, and all three extra plastic minis. These guys and gals are fully assembled, most of them are primed, and all of them hold interest for me. This is also a game I can easily play. A fair few people around me would enjoy goofing off with SDE, but I refuse to play the game with unpainted minis. Entirely. This is just too slick a looking game to pass up the opportunity to play a full-on beautifully realized session. That means I pretty much only have the base game to use. This is not an awful thing, just limiting. Of course, I ought to get a few "Super!" level games under my belt before I aim too high. I've only played at the "8-Bit" and "16-Bit" levels thus far.

Remember us?
My point is, I want to paint these minis. I want to game with these minis. There is a problem, though. What I want out of these minis conflicts with what I want out of the other minis. The longer my Irken take to arrive, however, the more Super Dungeon Explore beckons. Besides, I've been feeling like painting in this style for a while now. I also have some partially painted (and then abandoned) minis sitting in my gaming closet. They need some lovin', and soon. I feel bad letting them sit there in the darkness...

I need to avoid distraction. Christmas is just a little bit away, however, and I featured the "Von Drakk Manor" expansion prominently on my wish list, so there's a very good potential for yet more chibi goodness on the horizon. They will get in the way. They will grab my attention.

My next post definitely will feature new pictures. I just had to get this off my chest.