August 31, 2015

Garden of Morr...With Even More Morr

Here's a quick post to finish off the month of August. I bought the Games Workshop "Garden of Morr" several years ago, with an eye to using it for games of Strange Aeons or possibly Empire of the Dead.  Some of these pieces even made an appearance in a game or two of Batman.

A few months ago I had done most of the painting required on the fences, but more recently I added an extra set of all the walls from friend who had used parts for another scenery project. Some repair work had to be done on that set, as the spikes on all of the walls had been removed. I needed some patience but was able to glue appropriate pieces back in place. Some of them look like they've been bent down or replaced.

Painting was accomplished largely through dry brushing using my standard colours for stone and dirt. I did use some P3 Cryx Bane Base to give it a bit of green before painting the foliage. I opted against painting all of the roses sculpted in, I thought it would look too busy.

The last step of the painting were the three buildings from the set. More drybrushing was the order of the day here, but I also tried a little experiment on the roofs of the buildings; I guess they're technically mausoleums right? I tried two different colours of bronze paint, then applied a heavy amount of GW's technical oxide paint with an unpronounceable name. While it was still wet I wiped downwards with a paper towel to remove some of it and simulate the effect of gravity.

It didn't look great initially, but once it completely dried I was very happy with it! I have another project that it will be coming in handy on very soon.

I may add some patches of static grass and clump foliage to enhance the texture in the future, but for now I'm calling it done.

August 24, 2015

Gotham City SWAT - Figures For Batman Miniature Game

I've been on a bit of a roll this week, getting a total of a dozen figures completely painted for the Batman Miniatures Game by Knight Models. Fast following the footsteps of my uniformed police I have completed the remaining Law Forces figures.

The four SWAT officers and Branden started out with the same P3 Exile Blue as the uniformed officers. A light coat of black covered most of the rest of the figures. It was almost a wash, but perhaps a little thicker. I dry brushed this with GW Fortress Grey and then washed the whole lot with GW Asurmen Blue. After that I went back in and highlighted with Exile Blue and Fortress Grey. The blue got another highlight of a 1:1 mix of Exile Blue and Army Painter Shadow Grey.

The detective in the back is essentially the same as the uniformed cops from last week, just with the trouser and shirt colours reversed. He and Branden got a basic five o'clock shadow with some GW Ogryn Flesh wash. The goggles and Gordon's glasses were painted white then washed with blue, and finally given a gloss coat for some shine.

Gordon was intentionally painted to stand out from the rest. His pants and hair were base coated with GW Scorched Brown, and the jacket done with P3 Gun Corps Brown. Both were given a wash of AP Soft Tone and then highlighted with the base colours again. A second highlight of P3 Bloodtracker Brown was applied to the pants and and a 1:1 mix of P3 Beast Hide and Gun Corps Brown highlighted the jacket.

Before the final hour I spent painting them, I was happy with the officers, but not the 5 SWAT. I had tried to make them semi-realistic and it wasn't very eye catching. Adding some small metal highlights, the goggle varnish and a few tiny highlight touches really helped. The addition of the red scopes helped tie them all together and make them look like the trained soldiers the should be.

Well, that's a full dozen members of GCPD who've crossed my painting table this week. Colour me one satisfied painter for now. I'm not sure what I'm going to tackle next!

August 21, 2015

Custom: Batman Beyond For BMG

While I was working on my uniformed police for the Batman Miniatures Game I also started to paint my Batwoman figure. Repainting a Batman Beyond figure from Heroclix would be the perfect opportunity to test the colour techniques without potentially ruining a $22 figure from Knight Models.

The sculpt for Batman Beyond is very good. He's almost perfectly in scale with the BMG figures and the paint only needed a bit of touching up. I covered the red of the cape with GW Mephiston Red and then a wash of GW Baal Red wash. That was followed by a liberal coat of the base colour, leaving some shadows in the recesses. For a highlight I mixed in some P3 Orange (probably about 1:1) and applied several, gradually smaller coats for a final highlight.

It was difficult taking a good picture of this guy.

Black is a colour that you could take forever painting, but I didn't have the desire to do much work on this so I went for a technique I've used in the past. P3 Coal Black drybrush, followed by a wash of Badab Black. It's very subtle, but I'm happy with it. For Batwoman I might go into more detail and try using glazes. Might. (but probably not)

I had to paint in his eyes several times to get them to look even. I used P3 Menoth White Highlight instead of pure white. He's mounted on a hand-sculpted base.

"What the hell was that?"

I'd really love to track down an Eaglemoss 1:43 die cast Batmobile from the cartoon for my collection, even though it would serve zero purpose and the figure couldn't actually sit in it. Barring that however, I created a character profile for him for the Batman game. Thanks to Brad for providing me with the blank card template! He's the first Batman that's not Bruce Wayne, so I opted to make him a Sidekick to allow him to partner up with the old man from time to time.

I forgot to put Law Forces in his affiliation list. Pretend it's there.

If you give the character a try, I'd really love to hear about it. Give me some feedback on how he works out. Is he over- or under-powered for his reputation cost? I tried to make him different from other Batman characters in the game, but do worry that I made him too good. I'll need to test it out in a few games...provided I can find an opponent these days.

August 20, 2015

Holy First Painted Figures Batman!

After I had built and painted all the markers and 'furniture' it was at last time to start applying paint to some actual characters from the Knight Models range for the Batman Miniatures Game.

I had built and primed a lot of the KM figures already and wanted to paint some in a batch, so I chose the four uniformed police and Commissioner Loeb. Batwoman is on the table too but not yet complete. You can read a game recap of my first attempt using this 250 rep crew here.

Apologies for the mediocre individual photos.

Painting these figures didn't get off to a great start as I waffled around trying to settle on colours. The first blue I chose was too bright. Then I tried an all blue uniform with something a little darker...and didn't like that either. Taking a cue from the package imagery I settled on grey trousers and very light blue shirts under dark blue jackets. Loeb being in his dress uniform simply meant his trousers would match his jacket. Easy!

After I gave each figure a slightly different flesh tone I used GW Fortress Grey for the trousers, washed w/ Badab Black and then highlighted again with the base colour. The shirts are a 1:1 mix of AP White and Shadow Grey. Pure P3 Exile Blue for jackets and hats, then P3 Coal Black for jacket trim. Next was a GW Asurman Blue wash on all blues, highlighted with base colours. For the jackets I did an extra highlight with a 1:1 mix of Exile Blue and the base colour for the shirt. Some gunmetal and GW Shining Gold was put on the badges and trim, washed w/ Devlan Mud and highlighted with the base colour.

O'Connell and Agent Ron needed a lot of green stuff on arm joins before priming. Otherwise, these figures were easy to build. The position of their arms made it difficult to paint the faces as well. Speaking of faces...I had a lot of trouble with the simply getting some ivory onto the eyes of these figures. Some of the details are very small and I can't imagine how someone actually paints eyeballs on something like this!

Lastly, the female officer's skin on her chest was difficult to paint, as the casting had lots of small pits which needed to be filled with paint to make smooth. When I applied my first wash it looked pretty awful. After a few more applications of paint I was able to hide it but it was a touch disappointing on an otherwise excellent looking figure.

They took longer than I wanted them to, but turned out very nicely in the end. I still have to seal the paint work with a matte coat, but after that GCPD's finest are ready to combat the crime and insane villains of their city!

August 16, 2015

Guardian Chronicles Heroes Painted

Pictured here are painted examples of the core set hero miniatures from Guardians Chronicles. These are not the replacement figures that backers received, but rather, the miniatures that anyone buying the game at retail will get (I think).

These languished on my painting table for quite a while. In retrospect I'm not sure why I punished myself with the task. Quite simply, they're bloody awful. While I was able to make them look somewhat respectable, it just wasn't worth the effort. The replacement figures are miles better, although admittedly still a disappointment from what was promised during the Kickstarter campaign. I'm uncertain as to whether the better figures are now being included with copies of the game. If they are I've not heard anything about it.

So, don't buy the game for the figures!

However, I quite enjoy the game and would suggest it to anyone looking for a one-vs-many superhero adventure game. The rules are a bit of a task to surmount, but if you can there is a good game in that box.

It's just a shame these figures are so poor. If you can believe it, the Kinoichi sister figures are actually worse...

August 14, 2015

A Rant About Kickstarter - the site, nothing more

Ok minor rant time.

I use Kickstarter a lot. I've supported many a project over the past few years, and today I happened upon something that, as a software designer, drove me absolutely insane.

After over five minutes of searching, it's fucking impossible to submit feedback to Kickstarter.

You might ask what the hell I'm talking about, so here's a little more detailed information.

I was reading an update from the creator of one of my supported campaigns on my iPhone. It had some nice info and images in it, so I wanted to add a comment stating my appreciation. When I clicked on the "Leave a Comment" button, the page simply reloaded and I was right back where I started.

Yes, I was logged in.

Now, this is odd, so I went to the support section on the site. There's no way to submit a bug report or feedback. I can submit specific things about "My stuff" or "General Questions" like pledging and payments. But a simple "hey this didn't work like I expected" message to the KS team is apparently not possible.

To make sure I wasn't hallucinating I jumped onto my computer to verify. Same damn problem: I can't submit feedback. Apparently they're plenty happy helping me create a project (so they can take some of my money), or pledging for a project (so they can take my money), but providing me a clear way to ask a question about the site's functionality is something one simply does not do.

Not cool Kickstarter, not cool.

August 07, 2015

July 2015 Progress Report

Hobby seemed to take a bit of a back seat through July. I split my time amongst five projects, which is a quite few more than I'd promised myself I would work on. Here's what happened in my hobby realms...with far fewer photos than I'd like!

The first thing I recall finishing in July was actually painting my MDF DreadBall pitch from start to finish. You can read more about that by clicking here.

Stuff built for Batman Miniatures Game:

- Black Canary and Batgirl
- Victor Zsasz and Arkham Inmates set (4)
- Titan Bane
- Blackgate Prisoners set I (4)
- Blackgate Prisoners set II for BMG (4)

When I bought my Terminator Genisys starter set I built them the same day. This month I put some basing material on them and got everything primed in black. Although not fully complete I've painted all the endoskeletons (15) who simply lack a few finishing touches.

We even had a chance to play through a few games. I may or may not do some kind of game recap or review in the future. I'll have to see.

I constructed what amounts to a whole town for western gaming including

- Two GameCraft MDF buildings from the Blackwater Gulch campaign which I'll be using as a hotel and general mercantile
- Two Battle Flag MDF buildings; a jail and gallows
- Eight outhouses
- A MicroArts western Wild West Exodus set that included four buildings, two sheds and another outhouse
- Painted up two small sets of fences for wild west gaming (13 pieces total)

We played a few games of AT-43 recently, which got me working on some of my custom figures to go with the retail-released items.

- Built a squad of ONI Korps human troopers (12)
- Built two squads of Contaminator Zombies (24 - a few aren't in the photo as the require some minor repairs)

All in all I'm quite happy with my progress through July, but it seems that I should really paint something soon. We'll have to see how August turns out!