Monthly Archives: May 2015

Crescent Root French Hotel

Buck

Front of assembled building

Front of assembled building

I ordered a 28mm Crescent Root (http://ift.tt/1Jhc9rj) French hotel to see if they are as nice in person as they are on their Web page.  They are.  These are MDF buildings that come pre-painted.  Some sections are pre-assembled, and other sections can be easily assembled and disassembled.

As it came out of the box

As it came out of the box

First, the paint job is superb — significantly cleaner and more detailed than other pre-pained buildings, such as 4Ground or Miniature Building Authority.  The doors are all attached with a simple tap hinge that works well enough and allows players to open and closed doors during a game.

The first sides get connected

The first sides get connected

In this picture you can see the brackets in two of the walls.  Small pins fit within the holes to hold the walls together.  They slide in and out easily, and they hold the walls at right angles.

Interior showing the pin and bracket connection mechanism

Interior showing the pin and bracket connection mechanism

Here you can see the pins inserted into the brackets.

Top floor of the building

Top floor of the building

If I have a complaint with the building it is that the floors fit too snugly.  I think they will be difficult to removed during a game.  Shown is the attic.  The second floor will be difficult to reach during a game, I think.

Another side view

Another side view

Side of assembled building

Side of assembled building

This building, 28A3 is among the more expensive ones, at about $90.  It is one of the most elaborate ones.  Others are cheaper.  I think the enhanced quality is worth the premium price.    I see myself order one of these a month, until I complete the set.

 

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Pendraken 10mm Lizardman Cavalry Completed for BYV

Chris Palmer This week I completed my first base of Lizardman cavalry, and a Lizardman Cavalry Leader,  for my 10mm Lizardman Armies for “Bear Yourselves Valiantly” mass combat fantasy rules.  The figures are from Pendraken.

     This was also the first chance I had had to try using one of the new Minibits dice frames, some of us had recently ordered, on the command stand.  I think I like the look of it, and they will really help players keep their command dice with the proper stands, as often they are left behind on the table when players move their units.

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Bone Fiend: Bones II Figure

Chris Palmer

     This week I painted the Bone Fiend figure from the Bones II Savage Worlds Set.  When I picked out this figure to paint, I decided that I wanted to do something different than the same old skeleton paint job.  I went back and forth between ideas like glowing green perhaps, or a black obsidian look, or something else.  Than as I was looking at this figure something about it suggested leaping tongues of flame, and I got the idea in my head to paint it like fire.  That would be cool, right?
       I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued the figure to a 1.5" black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.

     I began by painting the figure all black.  When the black was dry I drybrushed he figure with, first, Folk Art “Dark Brown”, and then Apple Barrel “Burnt Sienna”.

    I then drybrushed Folk Art “Deep Tomato Red”, followed with GW “Blood Red”.

Next, I used GW   “Blazing Orange” and Americana “Tangerine”

I finished up with drybrushing Apple Barrel “Yellow” and Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”.  I really wasn’t happy with the results. It looked a muddy mess, so I went back to the lighter colors and dabbed some more on.  Then I thought maybe I had gotten off on the wrong foot by starting with brown shades, so I went back and dabbed in some Americana “Cranberry Wine” to try and cover the browns…then some more of the lighter colors.  Oh, well.
   I let the figure sit all day, and that evening I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  The next morning I flocked the figure and that afternoon gave it a coat of Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.

  Well, I consider this a failed experiment.   I’m not sure if the fact it’s not shaped like fire is part of the problem, or my starting off with browns was the wrong way to go…  Anyhow, there’s many more figures for me to get to, so we can’t linger too long on ones I’m unhappy with.

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Lysette, Female Elf: Figure 154 of 265

Chris Palmer

     This week I painted Lysette, Female Elf, from the Klocke Classics Set.  I didn’t really have a plan going into this figure…and kind of just started applying paint knowing I had to get it completed in time to post today.  This caused a couple errors that I had to deal with along the way.  This figure’s completion puts me halfway though the Klocke set.
      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  The staff was actually sculpted to the bottom of the dress, which caused it to bow badly. So I had to trim it off the dress, and used steam from a kettle to help straighten it.   I then glued the figure to a 1" black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.
    I forgot to take an unpainted starting shot, so we’ll get straight to the step-by-step. As, I mentioned I didn’t really have a plan, but I had recently bought a bottle of Folk Art “Thicket” in the discount rack at the local Craft store, so I was eager to use it.  So, I began by painting the dress with it.  I then painted the cuffs, bodice front, shoulder pads, and skirt straps with Apple Barrel “Rock Grey”.  I then started to paint the skin with GW “Elf Flesh”, and did everything but the leg when I realized I probably wanted to do a black wash on the dress and gray parts, but not get any on the flesh, so I stopped painting the flesh at that point until I could do the wash.

I did the black wash with GW “Badab Black” wash using a wet brush. After the figure had time to dry, I did highlights on the dress with first the base “Thicket”, and then I mixed about 50/50 “Thicket” and Folk Art “Hauser Green Medium” to make a lighter shade. I did highlights on the gray parts with the base “Rock Grey”.  I went back and painted the leg with the “Elf Flesh” and cleaned up any areas where the black wash had got on the skin.   I then painted her scabbard belt, pouches, and shoe with  Americana “Zinc”.

     Next, I gave all the skin parts a wash with Winsor-Newton “Peat Brown” ink using a wet brush.  Then, when the ink wash was dry,  I painted her hair Black. I then painted the wood parts of her staff with Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and the wrappings in the middle with Folk Art “Barn Wood”. I also used the “Barn Wood” to paint the scroll rolled up and strapped to her rear pouch.  I painted the scabbard with Apple Barrel “Apple Blue Spruce”.

   I then drybrushed her hair with Apple Barrel “Apple Scotch Blue”. I painted her eyes, with Black sockets, White whites and Black pupils.  I also added fine Black lines for eyebrows, then went back and added in eyeshadow with some Americana “Leaf Green”.  I then took the “Elf Flesh” and did highlights on all her skin.  I then added a little White to the “Elf Flesh” and did some finer highlights. I realized at this point that I had painted the top of staff wrong (I hadn’t realized the very top was wood, I had thought it was metal), and went back and painted the top portion with the “Mississippi Mud”.  I then painted the crystal in the staff with the “Leaf Green”.  The blade of the sword I did with Folk Art “Metallic Emerald Green”.   All the buckles, buttons, hair jewelry, sword hilt and the scabbard and staff fittings I painted with Ceramcoat “Metallic Copper”.

     I gave the staff, scabbard, and the sword hilt a wash with some GW “Agrax Earthshade” using a wet brush.  I also took a little bit of this and did a light wash on the runes running down the sword blade.  I highlighted the scabbard belt, pouches, and shoe with the “Rock Grey”.  When the washes I did earlier were dry, I highlighted the staff wraps with the base “Barn Wood”, then mixed a little of the “Barn Wood” into the “Mississippi Mud”, and did highlights on the wood parts of the staff.  I painted shadows on the crystal with Americana “Forest Green” and Accent “Forest Green”, and then did highlights with some White and some of the “Leaf Green” with a little White mixed in.  I then drybrushed the sword blade with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”, and added highlights to the copper parts with the base “Metallic Copper”.  Lastly, I painted the base of the figure with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.
    I let the figure sit all day, and that evening I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  The next morning I flocked the base, and late that afternoon I sprayed the figure with Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.  After the Dullcote had overnight to dry, I went back and painted the crystal part with Americana “DuraClear Gloss Varnish”.

     For an off the cuff paint scheme, I think it turned out pretty good.  She turned out a little darker looking in tone than I usually like for Elves, but I suppose she could be an Elf gone bad…or maybe wearing  a more autumnal or winter outfit.

Figure 154 of 265: Complete

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The start of my Castle Itter scenario, based on a real battle in…

The start of my Castle Itter scenario, based on a real battle in the last days of WWII in Europe.

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Ankheg: Bones II Figure

Chris Palmer

    This week I also completed the Ankheg figure from the Bones II Dungeon Monsters Set.  While I didn’t see myself having much use for it as a 28mm monster, I thought it would look pretty cool as a Giant Anhkheg (D & D Monster Manual spelling) to go with my 10mm “Bear Yourselves Valiantly” fantasy armies.   So, I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  Then, I glued to a black-primed standard 3" x 1.5" BYV  sized metal base with Aleene’s Tacky glue.

     I began by painting the outer body of the creature with Folk Art “Dark Brown”. I then painted the underbelly and the inside of the legs with GW “Tanned Flesh”. I followed that with painting the upturned ground around the beastie with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.

   Next, I painted some of the lumps on the base as boulders using Folk Art “Medium Gray”. Then, when everything had a chance to dry, I gave the entire creature a wash with GW Agrax Earthshade" wash using a wet brush.

   When the wash was good and dry,  I painted the mandibles and the claws on the tips of the legs, with Accent “Real Umber”.  I then drybrushed the outer parts of the figure with Americana “Sable Brown”, and the under-parts with Americana “Shading Flesh.   I painted the eyes with Black, and added a tiny White dot to each of them to make them look shiny.   Lastly, I gave the earth around the base a drybrushing with Americana "Mississippi Mud”, and followed that with some Americana “Khaki Tan”.
         I let the figure sit overnight, and the next morning I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  Later that afternoon I flocked the base, leaving parts of the upturned earth and boulders around the creature bare. The next morning I sprayed the figure with Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.

     I’m very happy with how this figure turned out, and I think it looks suitably terrifying in 10mm.

A 10mm unit of High Elves collectively craps their pants as the earth erupts before them.

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Vader Raids a Rebel Outpost

Buck

Turn one, showing most forces near their initial starting locations

Turn one, showing most forces near their initial starting locations

Last night we played another Star Wars Miniatures game.  Each side had about 160 points.  The scenario was an Empire raid on a Hoth Rebel facility to blow up some McGuffin.  I was, once again, the Empire.  Darth Vader led the raiding party.  Defending the compound were Han, Luke, Leah, and a host of Rebels.

Luke vs. a Stormtrooper

Luke vs. a Stormtrooper

The compound only had two entrances.  The Rebels had a laser turret guarding one of them.  Although its Damage was weak, the fact that it could take 150 points of damage forced the Stormtroopers to fight a holding action on that flank while Vader and the main body tried to work their way into the other entrance.

Early in the game: The Stormtroopers maneuver around the Rebels

Early in the game: The Stormtroopers begin to maneuver around the Rebels

Vader waded into a bunch of Rebels, brandishing his light saber, taking down a bunch of them.  Leah and the Rebel machine-gun looking thing with its three shots per turn hammered Vader.  He failed almost every light saber parry Force roll.  By the time he and three remaining Stormtroopers forced their way into the compound, Vader had taken 130 of his available 140 hits.

Nearing the end game: A heavily wounded Vader and some storm troopers enter the compound

Nearing the end game: A heavily wounded Vader and some storm troopers enter the compound

An elite Stormtrooper fired on the device the Empire was trying to destroy but missed.  A hit would have ended the game with an Imperial victory.  In the next turn, the Rebels won the initiative roll (one of the few they won all night).  Instead of me getting a second shot on the device, the Rebels killed both Vader and the last Stormtrooper.

My erstwhile adversaries

My erstwhile adversaries

The game was a real nail biter.  I am consistently surprised with the balance of these games.  They often seem to come down to the last couple of figures.  In this case, when Vader was killed there were only three Rebel troopers (none of the officers or main characters) remaining on the table.

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HAWKs Expeditionary Force Attends HUZZAH! in Maine

Chris Palmer      This past weekend a group of the HAWKs headed up to South Portland, Maine to attend the HUZZAH! gaming convention.   For the past few years the HAWKs Expeditionary Force has tried to attend a regional con, within a day’s drive of our base in central Maryland, to expose our games and rules to folks who don’t often get to play in our games at the HMGS-East conventions we usually attend.  In the past we have all headed to the con in one vehicle; but this year, due to a number of folks combining the trip north with personal vacations or other business, we ended up for the most part travelling separately.   As the only two members who were just heading up for  the three days of the con, Eric Schlegel and I shared a ride up.  It took us 9 hours to make the trip from Maryland to Maine, and we rolled in to the hotel around 4:00 PM Thursday afternoon.

A view of the main gaming hall.
    Friday morning, those of us who had arrived on Thursday went to the Cracker Barrel next door for breakfast, and then returned to the convention hall for a quick game of Munchkin while we waited for things to get started.  The main hall was very nice, large, and brightly lit.  Then con staff all seemed helpful and happy to have us at the con.
A fun game of Munchkin
     The first game we ran was Dave Wood’s “Hell’s Highway” game using “Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII” rules, an 6mm figures. Despite having a full roster of 6 players preregister for the game,  only three showed up, so HAWKs Duncan Adams, and Eric, and Dave himself filled in to to take the other commands.
A view of Dave’s “Hell’s Highway"game
    The game went well, though things were slowed down a bit by Dave doing double duty as both player and GM.  However, we were all thrilled when Dave was awarded the prize for best game in his time slot.
Dave wins best game for his time slot.
   For the Friday evening ssession, I ran my War of the Roses game, entitled "Warring Roses in the Mist”, using “Bear Yourselves Valiantly” rules, and 10mm figures.  I had a full slate of players show up, and as is usual with the LSNC series of rules: though players initially look overwhelmed after the rules explanation, the rules are in fact intuitive enough that by turn 4 they were practically running the game themselves.
A view of my War of the Roses game.
     The game was real nail-biter with the fortunes seesawing back and forth.  All seemed lost for the Yorkists, when their center collapsed and both their archers and men-at-arms went fleeing back to the nearby town of Barnet.  The commanding player was not deterred though, and thrust his remaining units of  knights into the hole;  actually charging forward into the teeth of the enemy.  A series of heroic melees took place where the brave knights were assailed from all sides.    It was fun to see, as when the knights were charged from the flank or rear, and they would roll their “To Stand” dice check, they would often get the “Counter Charge” result, which allowed them to turn and face the new threat.  Though the brave knights were eventually worn down, they disrupted the Lancastrian center enough that they were not able to get momentum and exploit the hole in the line; and the knights bought enough time that the routed men-at-arms and archers were able to rally and return to the battle.
     In the end, the battle was declared a draw as neither side had gained a significant advantage, both wearing each other down equally.
    At the same time my game was  running Rob Dean and Ross MacFarlane were running a “Not Quite Seven Year’s War” Imaginations game using 40mm homecast figures, and the classic “Charge!” rules.  Because I was running my game simultaneously, I was not able to get any pictures.
The height of the battle as the heroic knights holding the Lancastrian center charge forward to hold the line.
     The next morning, Bill Acheson ran his game in the Saturday morning slot.  The game, entitled “Panic in Pan Chaka”, was set in the Tekumel universe and used 25mm figures and “G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.” rules.  The game was full of players, and myself,  Eric, and another fellow pitched in to run the NPC creatures that inhabited the jungles on the table.
Bill, in hat, giving the players their rules briefing.
     The players were given command of a hero and an accompanying party and tasked with investigating a strange object that had been spotted in the jungle.  Along the way they faced many of the denizens of the Tekumel world.   Unfortunately, time ran out just as the first parties reached the objective, so they were never able to truly investigate what turned out to be an ancient wrecked spaceship.
Adventuring parties leave the safety of the Imperial City to explore the jungle beyond.
     In the afternoon session Rob and Ross ran another  "Not Quite Seven Year’s War" Imaginations game using 40mm homecast figures, and the classic “Charge!” rules, entitled “Not Quite Fontenoy”.  They had a mostly full table, with Eric pitching in to take on the the commands. 
A view of Rob and Ross’ table.
   The table was beautiful to see and attracted lots of onlookers.  In the end, the forces of the Pragmatic Coalition were not able to seize their objectives from the hearty Northern Alliance defenders.  
A table full of brightly colored 40mm figures is a joy to see.
     In the evening session, Eric ran his “Caldwell Clears the Wheatfield” ACW battle using “A Union So Tested” rules and 10mm figures.  He had four players show up, so Duncan and Ross jumped in and took commands.
Eric, in hat, leans over to mark a casualty on a unit.
   The battle was hard fought, but in the end the Confederates were able to maintain a better hold of the wheatfield than their Union counterparts, and so were declared the victors.
Confederate forces prepare to storm the wheatfield.
Sunday morning was the last session, and Duncan was slated to run his WWI Battle of Monthyon game using modified “Look Sarge, No Charts” rules and 10mm figures.  The Germans were tasked with holding a ridgeline against French assaults.  With only two players showing up to play, a number of HAWKs were drafted in to take the remaining positions, and I was able to take command of the German left.  
 Duncan listens to a player’s question during his WWI game.
    The battle was fiercely fought, but the French were able to gain a foothold on our right, and we were unable to dislodge them.  So, the French won the day.
German troops dig in along their ridgeline.
    After Duncan’s game Eric and I headed out for the long drive home, and arrived back in Maryland around 11:30 that night.
      I had a good time at the con.  It seemed well organized and had good attendance.  In fact, we were all surprised to see a large turnout for the Sunday morning session, and attributed it to the number of local folks attending.  There was a nice selection of dealers, and I liked the raffles held each day. (I actually won a box of  painted 15mm ACW!)   If I had to pick nits, I really don’t like cons organized by sessions.  If you aren’t there for the start of a session, you miss out and need to wait 5 hours until your next opportunity to get in a game (which happened to me a couple times).  
   In the final analysis the weekend was a big success for the Expeditonary Force, and the HAWKs will certainly be back in the future for this fun convention

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Mummy Warrior: Figure 153 of 265

Chris Palmer

  This week, again being short of free time to paint, I skipped doing another of the Klocke Classics figures, and instead I pulled out another figure from the Who’s Your Mummy Set to work on.     I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  I then glued the figure to a 1" black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.
     I began by painting the body of the figure with  Folk Art “Barn Wood”.

     I then painted any exposed skin with Folk Art “Poppy Seed”.  Next, I painted the loin cloth, and head cloth with Folk Art “Deep Tomato Red”.  I painted the back of the shield with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.

     I then painted the collar piece, the top of the headdress, the scabbard, and the hangings at the waist with Americana “True Blue”.  Next, I painted his belt with Folk Art “Dark Brown”. The handgrips on his weapons I painted Americana “Asphaltum”.   I followed with panting his shield, scythe, and assorted decorative adornments with Cermacoat “Bronze.

     I then used the "Deep Tomato Red” and “True Blue” to paint the decorations on the shield.  I tried to do this in a stippling way, not completely covering the sculpted design, to  give the impression of chipped and worn paint.  I then took some Reaper “Surf Aqua” and dabbed some areas of corrosion on to the shield and weapon.

  When all the paint had had time to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash with  GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash, using a wet brush.

     When the wash had had time to dry, I started work on the highlights.   First, I added simple dot eyes with Americana “Olive Green” (Which is actually a light, almost neon, green).   I then highlighted the skin with the base “Poppy Seed”, and I highlighted the wrappings with the base “Barn Wood”.   I highlighted the blue areas with the base “True Blue”, and the red parts with the base “Deep Tomato Red”.   The gold decorations that I had painted with the “Bronze” , I highlighted with Ceramcoat “14K Gold”. I didn’t do the scythe or the shield as I was trying to distinguish between  functional items that were actually bronze, and ornamental items that were made of gold.   Lastly, I painted the figure’s white integral base with Ceramcoat Walnut. 
     

 After everything had a day to dry, I gave the figure a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  The next morning I gave the base a coat of Elmer’s white glue, and dunked it in a sand mixture.   When the sand had dried, I gave it a coat of the “Walnut” paint that I had heavily thinned.  When this was dry, I drybrurshed the sand with first, Americana “Khaki Tan”, an then Americana “Buttermilk”.  I then added a little light green static grass to the base. That evening I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote.

   I’m pleased with how this mummy turned out, particularly the weathering and corrosion on the shield and scythe. 
Figure 153 of 265: Complete  

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Corner Hotel from Multiverse Gaming

Buck

I went to the Multiverse Gaming site (http://ift.tt/1JR7I4U) to purchase some of their fire escape kits to add to man of my pulp buildings.  While at the site, I found this corner hotel and ordered it.

The kit is made of thick MDF, probably 3mm instead of the normal 2mm.  It assembled easily, despite the lack of instructions.  The light colored bricks, details on the doors, and window frames are made of thin card, much like a pub coaster.  The engraving on the surface of brick work was deep enough to make dry brushing quite easy.  If I have any quibbles, it is that the very thick MDF leaves a little “flash” where the parts connect to the boards.  This took a little Xacto work to clean off.  Also, the card bits seems a little fragile, and a very sharp knife is needed to get them loose from their board.

Of course all the floors come apart for gaming.  One thing I find interesting is the construction of the doors.  They all have a small base, which can be seen above, that makes it easy to open and close them without the fiddliness and fragility of paper hinges.

From opening the plastic to the form you see took less than four hours work.

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