Friday, May 30, 2008

Moving Day!

Well today is the day we move from Warsaw Missouri to Warrensburg Missouri. I'm pretty excited though we still don't have jobs. There are two game stores in Warrensburg and we already have a game group there to play in. Our miniature studio space is much smaller but I think that is a good thing. In the old studio we had too much room to spread out so we had a lot of unfinished projects laying around. Hopefully this smaller space will keep us focused on projects until we finish them.

Here are a few shots of our new workspace.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Best Laid Plans......

Well moving has thrown off all my projects for the year. I didn't think it would cause this much of a problem but it has. There is just no way I'll be able to finish up everything I have planned. I'm cutting all my sci-fi projects, Bretheren of the Belt, The M.S.S.R., and The TLA from this years list. I'm also dropping The Tethys my tramp steamer contest. The rest of my pulp projects I'm going to continue to work on but with some adjustments. Also I have already found a regular game group in Warrensburg Missouri where I am moving but part of being in that group is that I have to run a game for the group and they would like me to run the Serenity RPG so I'm adding Serenity to my project list. There are only six months left in the year so I'm going to have to change how I was origionally going to handle my projects. For one thing I had too many so I'm instead going to make two projects my priority while the rest I will work on but not put any particular deadline or specific goal on. They are all Pulp projects.

Primary Projects:

Adversaries for my Pulp games. These will be creatures like mummies and dinosaurs and the like and perhaps a few villians as well. Right now i have about 6 generic savages, 9 mummies, 9 wolves, 5 wearwolves, 8-10 cultist, 10 frog men, 10-20 lost world skinks, and about 10 other beast and creatures. I'd also like to add a few dinos but I'm not sure yet which ones. I'm not setting a date on this other than the end of the year.

Since I'm running the Serenity RPG for my new game group I need to get some minis painted up for it. I've already got some Sci-Fi humans from Star Wars but I could use a few more. The good thing about the serenity setting is that humans are pretty much all you have to deal with. My plans are to do about 10-20 more human types. 10 or so Alliance Fedrals using some Starship Trooper minis I have which is perfect since the troopers from the Firefly TV show wore Starship Trooper armor. I will also be doing 10-20 Reavers using mostly the Scared from Dark Age games since they are a close match. I hope to be ready to start running this game in a couple months so this is really a summer project althout I'm sure I'll be adding things as the campaign runs along.

Secondary Projects:

These are all pulp projects. They have no specific timeline or goal I'll just be working on them as i can.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Two Bit Pulp Hero

I was visiting my friendly local game store yesterday when I spyed these two Lobster Johnson figures from Heroclicks on the singles shelf. I asked the guy who runs the shop how much they were and I was a bit supprised to get them so cheaply. I got the pair for $0.75. One was $0.50 because it was rarer and the other was just $0.25. Just twentyfive cents and a real nice pulpy looking sculpt. I snatched them both up. I decided to do a conversion on the cheaper one so I carved off his symbol and swapped his head with a head from Games Workshop's Bretonian Knights boxed set. I had the carve down the neck area to make it fit the figure but it wasn't too hard. I also cut the little disk under the feat off and mounted the figure on a Games Workshop small round base. The conversion took like an half hour at best and all I used was an exacto knife and super glue.
Here you can see the converted fig between two 28mm figures. The one on the left is from Copplestone Casting and the one on the right is from Pulp Figures. I think he makes a pretty good match height and size wise.

I puttied and textured the base then I primed the figure with a light coat of Duplicolor Sandable Primer. I tried not to get too heavy here because the company paint was still on most of the figure and I didn't want to obsure any more detail than i had too.

The figure painted up fairly well. I did a bit of a rush job on him because I wanted to see how he would look. I spent about two hours on the paint job. It was pretty straight forward. It's not a very complicated sculpt and I didn't want to get very fussy because I wanted to have a project that was both cheap and fast. I'd say the entire project has less than 4 hours of bench time on him and I think he turned out alright. Now I have a totally unique pulp adventure that cost me less than a dollar and only a few hours time.

I think he looks pretty reasonable on my pulp shelf. He's not going to win me any painting contest but I'm very happy with this project as it expanded my pulp figure colletion at a very low cost in terms of both time and money. I plan to do more conversions based on Heroclicks and other cheap plastic miniatures. They are just so cheap you can't pass them up and the sculpts look a lot nicer painted up to even moderate gamer standards compaired to the poor quality paint jobs they come with.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Well I've been eyeballing the plastic Minotaur of the Maze since I first saw him at a game shop. I must admit my first reaction to Reaper's Legendary Encounters was highly negative and I still don't care for a lot of the first round releases. I really don't care for the Orcs and Skeletons that were chosen for the first batch. They aren't bad minis in pewter at all but I don't think they translate well and I think reaper has some better sculpts for those particular creatures. Seems to me the somewhat bolder and chunkier sculpts with more robust details look better in this format. The second batch minis do look like better choices all around and i am looking forward to picking some of them up. The big monsters however are great all around. Their paint jobs look ok. Much better than a lot of other pre paints and they look like they could be easily over painted or spruced up. Also they paint didn't look as thick in person as it did in some of the photographs.

About the Minotaur specifically. I'm pretty pleased with him. He's definitely a great sculpt. Much better than other pre-paints that I have seen. His pose and attitude and the heft of his weapons lend very well to the material he was cast in. The paint job is not bad either. Somewhat above average and a good foundation for over painting which is what I plan to do with mine. I'm just going to clean him up and add some highlights and shadows using his existing paint job as my base cote. I'm also going to base him on a round metal washer which will add some weight to him so he won't tip over easily. Of course I'll finish up his base a bit more. The paint is thin enough I could even prime him lightly and start with an entirely new paint scheme but I think I'll try that on the ogre chief instead because I don't like his yellowish skin anyway.
There are a couple big advantages to this model over the metal version. He's much cheaper. $5.99 for the plastic version or $13.99 for the metal version. That $8.00 I saved can be used to buy a couple regular humanoid minis. The other advantage is that he's already put together so no difficult pinning work on a large mini and because he's plastic he probably won't break apart in a fall from the table. Big minis are hard to assemble and it can take quite a while to pin several heavy joints. That's going to save me time and get this guy on the table faster.
The one disadvantage to this guy is that he's already assembled. Yup that was also an advantage. Basically it's a problem but not a major one. Of course because these guys are mass produced they are not going to come assembled with carefully puttied joints and all the mold lines removed. There are gaps in the assembly you can clearly see in these photos.

There are also mold lines including a kinda bad one on his face. If I'm going to the trouble to spend additional time painting on this guy that's something I'm going to have to fix. Then I'm going to have to match colors although since I'm only using the existing paint job for the base cote it doesn't have to be perfect. It would be nice however to know what Reaper colors were used to paint each mini so people could color match perfectly is they wanted to.
All and all I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I saved a chunk of money and a bit of time and i think these figures could easily be touched up and enhanced by a skilled painter quicker than painting up a figure from scratch. So I save time and money and I don't have to cringe when a big model falls off the table. I think I'm a convert. I'll be looking forward to future releases especially the larger monsters!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Link Changes

Just thought I would post that The Lead Adventrue Forum has moved. I've updated my link. This is one of the best game communities I've seen and it's not totally dominated by Game Workshop gamers or really anal historic gamers.

Also I fixed my link to Matakishi's Tea House and it now links to the home page and not the Outpost Gamma page.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sky Pirates Teaser

I got a shipment of planes in from Internet Hobbies today. Four SPAD 13 C.1s, Four Albatros D IIIs, and a Curtiss Jenny all in 1/48th scale which is the closest common scale for 28mm minis. I intend to use these planes for a pulp campaign I've been working on called Sky Pirates which will run from WWI through WWII and perhaps a bit beyond. It took the models about a week to arrive after I placed the order which is a pretty good turn around.
The SPAD 13 C.1s are Testors models. They cost only $6.37 each and they are very simple kits. Both of the factors make them excellent options for wargame models. Complicated models are harder to put together and tend to be more fragile due to many small parts. Since these are going to be handled a lot their simple construction should be a major asset. Also the SPADs will be player character planes and I hope my various players will try their hand at building and painting their own aircraft. I purchased four of these planes to serve as models for ground action or low flying action during my games. I will be using 1/144 scale planes for higher altitude combat.

One odd thing about the SPADs is the size of the pilot model. The planes are suppose to be 1/48th scale and they do seem to be but the pilot figure is very under scale. I'd say closer to 1/72 scale. 1/48th figures are usually taller than 28mm figures and as you can see here these ones are not. I will likely be using some head a shoulder pilot minis from Copplestone Casting instead of the kits stock pilot figure.

The Albatros DIIIs are from Glencoe Models. They cost $8.68 and the kits are somewhat more complicated than the Testors SPADs. I got four of these kits and I may get more if they go together well. These planes will be used by Graf Manfred Orlok and his squadron who have an uncanny ability as night fliers.

The Curtiss Jenny is a Lindberg kit. It cost $10.20 and it's definitely the most complicated of all the kits. This kit will be part of the Sky Pirates squadron and it will be used as a trainer and observation plane. I'm not looking forward to doing all the rigging but I don't think the plane will look quite the same without it. This plane in particular will be used mostly as a scenic piece so hopefully it won't get handled quite as roughly as the other planes.

The Jenny model crew and pilots seem to also be a bit on the small side for 1/48th scale but not nearly so much as the SPAD pilots. I think I may use these crew and pilot figures.

Well hopefully I'll get started on these models soon. Ideally I would like to start my Sky Pirates campaign right at the start of WWI. These planes of course are not suitable for that. They are more mid war planes but the campaign will be broke down into several mini campaigns with different aircraft and theaters of operation. I'm not having an easy time finding early war plastic plane kits so I may resort to trying to find paper models instead. If I can't I'll be starting the campaign mid war using these models instead. Either way these models will get used either in the first of second phase of the campaign.