Monday 30 September 2013

Quarter 3 Painting Summary

Click to enlarge
Until Zomtober 2013 kicks off, time for my quarterly update.

The update features another collage using fotor (and amazingly, I exceeded fotor's in-built collage image limit, so a creative solution of putting a collage in a collage was needed!).

Q1 yielded 13 painted minis. Q2 also yielded 13 painted minis. Q3 surpassed that standard with 17 painted minis. That takes me to 43 of my 50 target for the year - it looks like with 3 months to go (including a planned 4 models for Zomtober), that is an achievable goal.

Nothing too large this month unlike the Wrath of Nature last quarter, or Giant Hadron in Q1, but still 17 minis done. And that is even with the disappointment of not yet painting a couple more Ninjas (for Pulp City), or painting more for Anima Tactics (I would have liked to have painted at least a couple more Anima Tactics mins).

Q3 saw me paint stuff for Anima Tactics (6 minis), Pulp City (6 minis), Freebooter's Fate (4 minis), and MERCS (1 mini).

Top row (l to r)
Ninja Sensei (Pulp City)
Saint Astraega (Anima Tactics)
FCC Saboteur (MERCS)
Hamadria (Anima Tactics)

2nd row (l to r)
Alessa Raincross (Anima Tactics)
Apagado (Freebooter's Fate)
Harlequin (Freebooter's Fate)
Primate of Nature (Pulp City)

3rd row (l to r)
Hellhound/Type 004: Hellhound (Anima Tactics)
Master Assassin (Freebooter's Fate)
Coscritti (Freebooter's Fate)
Ninjas (2) (Pulp City)

Bottom row (l to r)
Shadow Double (Pulp City)
Empire Agent (Anima Tactics)
Primate of Mystery (Pulp City)
Erika (Anima Tactics)

Sunday 29 September 2013

Zomtober 2013 Is Coming...

It is time...

Zomtober 2013 is nearly here. The dead will walk off painting stations and into minis cabinets and cases.

The Zomtober gauntlet is thrown down once more!

So far we have myself, Rob (his blog can be found here) and Simon Q (his blog can be found here) and anyone else who wants to get some walkers, runners, fat zeds, boss zeds, or even hapless survivors painted. So if you want to join in (and we can link to your own blog), let us know!

For my own part I have some Zombie clowns to do, and maybe another Zombie group. It is time...

Also joining in the blog roll for Zomtober are:
As for the ground rules: paint at least one Zombie or Survivor per week, simples! Deadlines are 67th, 13th, 20th and 27th of October.

Another joining in:
And another hoping to do something too:


A couple more volunteers...:
More Zomtober madness:
Other bold souls wanting to delve into their metal/resin/restic/plastic mountains...
Clint's blog for Zomtober updated in UPDATE 7; also more hardy souls added to the cause:
More zombie-minis-fans come aboard:
Another covert...:
And yet another...:
And another:

Sunday 22 September 2013

FCC: Saboteur (MERCS)

Click to enlarge
Okay, this was a a typical surprise  for me - I say surprise as this was started after the other FCC, but finished before them, which is fairly typical for the random way I approach much of my painting!

The Saboteur is a model for the FCC House 9 faction for MERCS. In the corporately-controlled future world of MERCS, the FCC are an anti-corporate affiliation or largely like organizations that operate independently of each other.

House 9 is based in the middle and near east and may be considered freedom fighters or terrorists depending on point of view! The Saboteur exemplifies that idea with his rules representing his civilian appearance (harder to pick out among other combatants - penalty to hit; encouragement to allies if martyred - a bonus if removed from the game). Being armed with a a Molotov Cocktail and the futuristic equivalent of an AK-47 just finishes the package off!

It will be interesting to see how the game plays. Right now my focus for low model count skirmish games is on Pulp City; Anima Tactics; Freebooters Fate; and now MERCS. Each offers its own unique game-play features, and MERCS looks no different. I look forwards to finally getting to grips with some games when i have some factions painted up.

Colour-scheme wise, I have actually used the same palette that I am using on the para-military FCC House 9, so he should still tie-in with the rest of the unit. Hopefully work will continue on the remaining FCC before too long, and I manage to avoid too many other distractions.

Sunday 15 September 2013

MERCS: Starting FCC House 9 (WiP)

Click to enlargify
I don't tend to blog 'work in progress' too often, but I thought I might do WiP's on my MERCS Megacon squads as I go, as this represents a bit of a departure for me (painting squads of minis for the first time in a few years, with an approach to painting that is a bit different than I used in my WH40K days).

What I am aiming to do is paint at least a little bit (even if only for a few minutes) each day on these until they get finished.

They are unlikely to be finished at the same time, as I will start to diversify the palette a little on them as I go to emphasize the rag-tag nature of House 9.

I am aiming to finish the Housemember first since that should then offer a bit of a template for the rest of the unit.

Saturday 14 September 2013

Firedragon Games (2): Concrete Low Walls

Styled like the Low Walls in the previous post regarding Firedragon Games terrain (click here for link to the post), these are the last of the batch of pieces I bought from Firedragon.

This particular pack is £4.50 GBP for both items, again excellent value in my humble opinion.

Preparation time across all 5 pieces was brief. Painting on these was slightly complicated by the fact that the sandbags are integral, but really was no problem at all.

The painting was largely as for the previous pieces, over a black undercoat.

I am very happy with the five items I purchased from Firedragon. For the five it came to £12 GBP plus shipping. It has meant I have been able to ready five items useful for cover etc. in relatively short order.

Because I am very happy with the quality, I will be ordering from Firedragon again, as I plan to pick up their bunkers, which I think will support the same kind of games I will be using these in.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Pegasus Hobbies: Altar of Evil

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I have had this for a few years, and it has yet to get trotted out for a game (but maybe something soon could feature it!). That said, I do think it is a very nice piece and so wanted to say a few words about it.

I am a time-strapped hobbyist, so anything that adds to my options without using up too much time is a 'good thing'. The Altar of Evil is a pre-painted one piece item, so perfect if it fits the right kind of game. I have plans soon for this, but I could easily see this in games of Anima Tactics or even WH40K if I ever take that up again, or other fantasy games I am sure.

The item comes fully painted and no extra work has been done on this. It is made of polystone (a mixture of plastic resin and stone powder), and so is quite weighty. It comes in a functional box so it can be packed away safely when not in use.

In terms of footprint, the diameter is around 6 3/4 inches, and the height is around 4 1/2 inches. The figures used for scale reference are a 13th Company Space Marine and Pulp City's Gentleman.

Online, I have seen stockists in the UK listing it from £17.99 to £24.99. If you can get it for less than £20 GBP, and if it fits your needs, then I think it is good value.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Firedragon Games (1): Low Walls & Sandbagged Bunker

Click for close up
I ordered these from Firedragon Games last week when I was working out the kind of stuff I could use for MERCS games, and after finishing these pieces I have to say I am very happy indeed, and that I feel these are great products.

Pictured for scale are (l-r): 2 x 13th Company Space Marines; Studio Miniatures Zombie; Infinity model; Pulp City Gentleman.

The Low Wall pieces (2 of the same piece) are currently £2 GBP each, and the Sandbagged Bunker is £3.50 GBP. When I ordered these I picked some other prices which I am still painting, and will post when completed.

I think those prices are tremendous value. Yes the wall could be made of foam card, but at the price, and ready assembled, I think it is hard to argue against them.

They were well cast, with only a few bubbles on the Sandbagged Bunker (which I filled with liquid green-stuff). Preperation required was only minimal, a quick scrub with soapy water as well as the liquid GS filling.

I sprayed the sandbag piece with a bone colour; washed with Army painter Soft Tone; dry-brushed Vallejo Buff then Vallejo Pale Sand.

The concrete walls were undercoated black, painted with Vallejo Neutral Grey (with a touch of Field Blue here and there just to make for a slightly uneven base colour); then washed into recesses with Soft Tone; then dry-brushed Vallejo Medium Sea Grey; final dry-brush with Sky Grey; then thinned Soft Tone to mark some extra discolourations.

In all I think these are great. I think they represent excellent value and do the job they need, occupying nice small footprints on a table top (but enough to comfortably fit 2 x 30mm bases), while quick and easy to prepare and paint up.

I plan to use them in MERCS, but they could easily see use in AE-WW II (when I eventually get around to those!), or similar games like Dust Warfare; Pulp City; Force on Force; and of course the venerable old WH40K.

Monday 9 September 2013

Easy Reversible Game Board (2' x 3' approximately)

One game I play (Pulp City) and one I plan to start playing soon (MERCS) both nominally use a 2' by 3' playing area. I have accumulated a few options for play areas for Pulp City already, but I got to thinking about MERCS games and wanting something I could just throw on the kitchen table when needed and slap some terrain on top of.

This board is double sided; brown one side and grey on the other, so I can do urban or wasteland set-ups easily.

The board itself is super-easy: a 60 cm by 90 cm cork notice board. Obviously that is not quite 2' x 3', but close enough for my needs. The painting was done with cheap acrylic paints from discount shops and in all probably cost the equivalent of around £12 to £14 (I had some paint already so a guesstimate is the best I can offer). The board itself was purchased through Amazon, but as prices do vary, it can pay to look around.

Each side probably had around an hour painting time at most, and the advantage of the cork is it provides some texture. I painted it by first splodging paint on and using a roller, adding a lighter colour onto a darker colour and rolling that in. The brown side then had some more colour sponged on (using very cheap household sponges).

Expect to see the boards getting some use soon enough.

Texture/colour close-up
Build time: none!
Painting time: maybe a couple of hours all-in, over around 4 sessions.
Cost: around £12 to £14 for effectively 'two' boards (although only one can be used at a time of course!)

Sunday 8 September 2013

Upcoming Project: MERCS

I have a new project that I am finally getting underway - I say finally, as over the past 2-3 years I have acquired the minis 4 factions for the MERCS game, and they have sat there untouched. That is all set to change.

MERCS is a futuristic squad level game where each player has a force of 3-5 models (5 is the standard game size).

The world is one where corporations have supplanted nations in pretty much every area of a citizen's life. Each Megacon is a vast entity, a conglomeration of an incredible array of businesses, and in the present day of MERCS just 9 Megacons remain in control of much of the world. Outside of Megacon control are the Lost Margins, territory of the FCC (Free Corporate Control), a loose affiliation of organizations that oppose the Megacons, but will occasionally work with a Megacon to further mutual goals against a rival corporation.

The MERCS of the game are corporate security soldiers in super-advanced armour, the ultimate enforcers of Megacon will. Currently 7 Megacons have minis available, as well as 2 FCC 'Houses'.

CCC Yellowjackets
So far I have picked up: CCC (primarily focused on North America; their squad is the Yellowjackets; and it was their Heavy model that drew my original attention, but I was fortunate to order the rule book when it came out and acquire the limited edition Incinerator); Kem Var (South America; they use stealth technology); FCC House 9 (a rag tag looking bunch; based in the Middle East and part of Asia; the can work with representatives of Megacons as Black Ops); and Keizei Waza (Australasia and South East Asia; equipped with nuclear powered armour and a martial sense of will).

I have also begun to prep some terrain to be suitable for games of MERCS (and some will be suitable for other games too), so expect intermittent posts over the next months that will directly or indirectly relate to MERCS as well as other stuff (such as wanting to paint some more Freebooters Fate minis before too long).

Images ©  2010-2013 MERCS Miniatures.