Friday 26 February 2010

As I mostly paint for pleasure, or to use the minis in role playing games. I don't spend much of my time making scenery, but scenery is an important part of any war game or skirmish game. I thought I would share one or two ideas I have had on the topic.

The game of Pulp City I recently played with Leon demonstrated how good looking scenery can really enhance a game. Leon did not scratch build much of his scenery, other that the excellent urban boards, but rather bought it, assembled and painted it himself. This method, while being expensive, is relatively quick (unless you include the hundreds of hours Leon spent trawling the net for suitable models- he could have built a real-scale city in that time!). I am kicking myself I never took my camera, but I promise I will next time we play. The pleasure of playing a war game or skirmish battle on a good board can not be overstated!

I continue to work on my cowboy scenery, which is a combination of scratch built and bought scenery. I have finished my third building now, and have bought some crates and barrels cast in resin. It's a time consuming activity, but very rewarding. It's also a bit cheaper too, which is important to me on my limited budgets- the joys of having kids and a mortgage! Hopefully soon I will have enough buildings to play a few games of Legends of the Old West.

I have also found a few bloggers who make scratch built scenery, and I have to say, they look amazing. Take a look at these for inspiration!

Wargaming Buildings, this one is a new find- fill a beautiful wild west buildings- be sure to look at the older posts!

Here's another wild west one, called The Beaver Examiner (it's work safe, I promise). This scenery is so detailed that I think you would be hard pressed to use it for war-gaming, but it is inspiring none the less.

Then these Reme Bostal, who is in a league of his own when it comes to scenery for gaming. This crazy Frenchman makes scenery for Heroclix, Horror Clix and Starwars CMG. He's a master, in my opinion. his sites in french, but his pictures are so fine that I will let him off with that!
Today my good friend and gaming buddy Leon (who often supplies me with his hand-me-down surplus super heroic minis for this very blog) finally got around to a rematch of Pulp City, the 28mm Superhero Skirmish game.
This time we had a much bigger game, with seven supremes aside. I took the good side, while Leon played the bank-robbing super villains. The game lasted a little over two hours, and was great fun. I think I am staring to get the hang of the rules now.
Leon's war gaming scenery is excellent- he has been scouring the net for suitable urban scenery, and now has quite a collection. As well as buildings he has a number of smaller bits of scenery, such as park benches, trash cans and even cars. These can be tossed around by super strong characters, causing all sorts of mayhem. One of my heroes, who goes by the peculiar name of Six Feet Under, dispatched one of the villains with a deftly aimed drinks can machine! Great fun.

On a different note, I have done quite well in the first round of the Lead Painters League, having scored 72%! Yea me! Many thanks to everyone who took time to vote (assuming you voted for me that is!). Round two, the cowboy posse, is finished, photographed and sent in. I will post some pictures of them soon enough. Round three features some supernatural super villains, including a vampire, a witch and a demonic sorcerer. Keep checking in for more pictures.

Monday 22 February 2010

These are Void Corsairs, savage humans who dwell on the edge of known space. Driven mad by the endless gulf of starless space that stretches out before them, they have descended into barbarism, and now exist purely to raid the space lanes and colonies, butchering the weak and enslaving the strong. Rumors of cruel rituals, cannibalism and other unspeakable depravities are abound.

This is my entry to the first round of the Lead Painters League competition of the Lead Adventures Forum. They are inspired by the reavers from Serenity/Firefly, but I felt that the dark, burnt, disfigured look they use in the film would not translate well onto a mini, and so I kept they cleaner-limbed, but just as barbaric. I painted the flesh quite pale because they don't get planet side much. These minis are by Mark Copplestone (I think) for eM4 Miniatures.

Here is a quick sneaky look at another Lead Painters League entry I have been working on. These are Zombies from my Supers campaign. They are based on the Games Workshop zombies, who have a distinctly peasant-farmer fantasy look, not at all suitable for what I wanted. I converted them with greestuff to 21st century civilian zombies. mostly this consisted of putting on belt loops, shirt collars, extending trousers etc. I am very pleased with the way they have turned out- especially Angus McZombi, the Scottish football fan. I have added a base ball cap to one of them, and mad a few for minor tweaks since this photo was taken. I am now waiting until the weather warms up a bit before I spay the, I am not taking any chances with these little monsters, as the sculpting took me about four hours!

Currently working on some cowboys for the next round of the competition. The pressures on. After that, I think I will try to get some supers on the go.
I went to see the new Solomon Kane movie on Friday with some of the lads from the gaming group. I would have to say that I like what I saw.
I am not well read in the Solomon Kane books, being more of a fan of the Conan books (they by the same author, Robert E. Howard) so I can't comment on how close it stuck to the stories. It was fast paced, dramatic, with stylish sets and costumes. The fighting and stunts were excellent, and the CGI and other special effects were of the standard you would expect from any Hollywood blockbuster. Casting was good, and Purefoy's West Country accent was excellent- you don't see many heroes with a west country accent.
All in all, it was as good as I had expected, and in a few places even better! If you liked Van Helsing, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Hellboy: The Golden Army etc then you will probably like this. I loved it.

Thursday 18 February 2010

We went to Warhammer World in Nottingham for the school holidays. For those who might not know it is the head store, gaming facility and museum for games workshop.

My son Charlie and I had a great time. My wife and Eleanor enjoyed the facilities of Bugman's Bar (a warhammer Dwarf themed pub- I kid you not. It's like Disney world, only with severed orc heads nailed to the wall!)
I used to be a fanatical devotee to Games Workshop, and have, over the years, spent terrible amounts of money an their products. most of my lead mountain is old GW stuff. In the past few years I have diversified my interests, and have been buying my metal and plastics from other, often very small, independent, manufactures.

Seeing the 'Evey metal and Golden Demon-winner painted models up close has reminded me that GW still produce a lot of very nice figures, and have a huge back catalogue of figure ripe for conversion. I think I might have to return to my lead mountain soon, if only to paint one or two show models, rather that a whole army.

Charlie, by the way, spent his holiday money (well, my money, to tell the truth- he had already spend his) on some zombies. Being nine, and into heavy metal, he naturally has an unhealthy interest in the living dead, and the gorier the better. He has painted two so far, and I think they are rather good.

Dead lines can be a terrible thing, adding pressure and stress to an already hectic life, but they can also be great for getting things done that you might otherwise put off for another day.

I am thinking about a competition I am entering on the Lead Adventure Forum, called the Lead Painters League. As past of the rules of the LPL, competitors must paint five or more miniatures, that fit together in a certain theme. These must be previously unseen, so I can't just pick the five best heroes of my Blog, for example. There are also a number of bonus rounds, when competitors win extra points for entering five minis that match a certain theme determined by the organisers.

I have been busy preparing my first entry, five space pirates for my SciFi campaign. Unfortunate I cant show the picks here until the competition has started, or I invalidate my own entry. I also plan to do some more cowboys, a team of London based super heroes, and some evil zombie minions. Stay tuned.

I have been painting to another sort of deadline too, as our gaming group has started the Conan RPG campaign last week. Today I have been finishing off a villain for tonight's adventure, Amil-Abrack, a living Ka mummy. Here he is in all his dusty grave-good splendor!

This is a Reaper miniature- very nice to paint! I love the fact that he's all muscly and not dessicated like your usual mummy. I hope he gives the heroes a hard time!

Thursday 11 February 2010

Genetically modified carnivorous gorillas! Doctor Otto's callous disregard for human life has now extended to animal life too. What madness could have lead him to create such monstrosities! Intelligent, immensely Strong and deadly: this new threat might bring Doctor Otto one step closer to perfecting his warped dream- the ultimate super soldier.

These minis are actually Copplestone Castings yeti, just painted black instead of white. I based them on the green base so I can used them in my Conan Campaign too.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

I have just seen the trailer for the Solomon Kane Movie. Now I am sure I am quite out of the loop, and that everyone else knows all about this upcoming movie, but it's news to me, and so I thought it was blog worthy.

For those who might not know, Solomon Kane is another of the creations of Robert E Howard (who wrote Conan). He is a 16th Century puritan witch-hunter who travels around smiting evil.

I also notice that the actor playing Solomon, James Purefoy, is filming John Carter of Mars. This film is now in post production and is due for release in 2012. I guess that means it has a lot of CGI stuff. I am very much looking forward to seeing both these movies, as I am a big fan of Purefoy, especially in the HBO series Rome, where he played an utterly selfish and amoral Mark Antony. Brilliant.

Saturday 6 February 2010

I am sitting here trying to think of a name for the town that where I will set my Legends of the Old West Campaign. This is because I have just finished painting the towns general store, and want to come up with a place name to emblazoned across it's signage. Here are some I have come up with so far. All of these are, or have been, real place names in America.

Canyon Diablo
Cripple Creak
Hell's Hallow

I can't make up my mind. If any of the readers out there have a preference let me know. You could be the one who christens a new pioneer town!
I am indebted to the Legends of America site, who supplied these names, as well as many far too rude to consider (Big Bone Lick? What!)

Thursday 4 February 2010

This is the first of the finished cowboy buildings for the Legends of the Old West board. This is the Saddle and Leather Goods store.

Store front is resin, and the back half is scratch built from card, foam card and balsa wood.
This shop features a run down lean-too, where the store owner keeps his raw leather.Just noticed with the spell check that I spelt saddles wrong! Doh! Not sure if I can be bothered to go back and re-paint the window sign, as it took ages. Perhaps the craftsman who runs this store is semi-literate (like me).

EDIT: I have now repainted the window, which now reads 'Leather Goods'. How embarrassing!

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Montanoso was the first government sponsored superhero from the South American Republic of Costa Brazico. He is often employed as a bodyguard by the military attache/spy Colonel Alberto Lobo (also pictured here). No mere pawn, he is believed to be a high ranking member of the Brotherhood of the Serpent. This mini is one of the Superfigs range. I think he's meant to be some sort of Russian or East German super, and I was wondering what to do with him when I saw that his uniform was similar to Col. Lobo's. I am very pleased with the result.