Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Overboard on eBay

Went on a bit of a shopping spree with a focus on Necromunda. Goal is to build out a legit Delaque gang WYSIWYG using GW models. Below are the bits and bobs gathered so far to meet this end.

Conversion bits from MaxMini.eu. The shipment came quickly and safely from Poland. Casts are clean with very little to no flashing.
Tox Guardsman heads (top left)
Ash Junkers heads (top middle)
Biohazard Heads (top right)
Biohazard Backpacks (bottom)

Head conversion bits by PigIron Productions. Shipment arrived safely from United Kingdom.
HD.20 Kolony Rebel head sprues (left)
HD.1 Kolony Rebel head sprues (right)



20 model Cultists sprue. Scored off ebay on the cheap. Although I wanted to go all metal with this gang. These models are really cool looking and should match up with the older models with a little bit of conversion.

18 model Delaque gang models plus 5 Ratskin models. Two separate auctions won on eBay. The Delaque models are in different stages of conversion, with most of them missing an arm or weapon. That's fine by me, because I plan on converting. All models came stripped. Not sure if the Ratskins have even seen paint before.

Necromunda Rulebooks. All books and magazines (minus the Outlanders) came from one eBay auction. I think it was quite a score. Now I need to find the two missing magazines (3 & 7).

Necromunda Magazine Issues 1,2,4,5,6,8,9,10 (missing 3 and 7)

Necromunda Magazine Issues 11,12 and Volume 2 Issues 1,2,3

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kublacon 2014: The Op-For Velvet Rope Game Experience

I intended to make this announcement some weeks ago, but better late than never. Our shadowy Op-For Overlord and several others of us have sprung for a "Corner King" room at the Hyatt this weekend, 5/23-5/26 for KublaCon 2014. What's special about it is it's got a table that seats 8, some other amenities, and I'm thinking it may have a parlor area. Half-jokingly we're calling it the Op-For Velvet Rope VIP Game Area. Really, though, we're just thinking it's going to be a great place to run games and hang out.

I know, I know, KublaCon offers lots of places to play, but honestly if you know KublaCon you know free gaming space is at a high premium (as in if you haven't camped on a spot early morning forget about it) and signing up for RPG games is an utter and complete crapshoot. And even if you're lucky enough to get choice seats in games it can mean not getting to spend enough time with friends you don't get to see often (i.e. there's little chance the games you get into are going to match up with those your friends get, even when you enter the exact same priorities).

So, our hope is this is going to be the silver bullet, a great game annex and possibly an opportunity for a centerpiece game or two as well.

In my case I've got the following I'll be ready to pull out wherever we find the space in the schedule. First up, AD&D 1e / OSRIC. My style is old school, pretty much by-the-book, with some nascent sandbox elements and with a focus on dungeons, treasure, monsters, and life-and-death logistics. I've got several modules at different power levels (either character levels 1-2 or 4-7) we can do, sampling some of the finest of the OSR crop of modules. No prior experience needed and we can make characters on the spot. I was going to put the AD&D into the lottery offerings but I've been busy at work and besides, I get so few opportunities to meet up with the Op-For extended crew that I decided to run it for us. Also, this is something we can pull out at any stop in the action. While I realize the goal of many con games is to pull out the stops in terms of high production and fanfare, there's an appeal all it's own to fitting in low key sessions whenever time allows. It seems to me more in the spirit of old school gaming, too. You hear about olden-day marathon sessions and continuous campaigns. Yes, you also hear about tournament style con games from early on, but they seem to be remembered less fondly. Oh, and this is part of the reason I'm not going to be bringing my miniatures collection or Dwarven Forge. That and I guess I'm lazy. One year or another I'll bring it and do the whole nine yards, and we'll be able to compare the experiences. But this time I have a new and elegant "schematic" way to represent the dungeon environment and characters that I'm eager to try out.

My second offering is a stack of Games Workshop boardgames from the golden age circa 1985-88. I'll have Dungeon Quest, Chaos Marauders, Warrior Knights and Warlock of Firetop Mountain, all original, no remakes. Some of these I just picked up on ebay this year and haven't played yet, or only once. Really excited about these, especially Warlock of Firetop Mountain! In case you're not familiar with them, these games have an unmatched beauty in terms of art, component style and graphic design, and the mechanics embody a spirit of high-risk, high-luck, and high adventure. They're mostly beer and pretzels fair in terms of crunchiness, except for Warrior Knights, which is fairly complex.

So, if we know each other consider dropping us a comment or otherwise dropping us a line or finding us at the con, and if you're an Op-For member and you've got an offering go ahead and edit this post with your update at the bottom here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gribbleh Part 1

Recently Skywatcher, myself and some of the other lads have been playing the classic Call of Cthulhu RPG. Doing it old school, with pen, paper, chips and soda. Just like Sandy Petersen intended.
Being a miniatures gamer, I can't help wanting to bring pewter to the table. I've had several of the ancient RAFM minis, most have been sitting, unassembled and unpainted in my bits box for years, dare I say decades.. Some, like the one piece Moonbeast, are fantastic and a joy to build and paint. Others, not only require a good deal of assembly, but the molds are so old and worn that the effort to put them together is a bit daunting.
What follows is my record of repairing, building, and detailing a Dark Young:
There were many problems, shortshots, voids, gaps, ill fitting joints, etc. Even when you consider that its an old cast of an old mold of an old sculpt, its still in bad shape. This is the first assembly, after cleaning mold lines with files, clearing flash with a blade, and gluing with CA. Luckily all the joints were large enough that pinning wasn't required.

Here you can see the main problem, the joint between the lower body and the main tentacle section was either miscast or the molds have warped over the years. 
The joint between the two sections of tentacles also had large spaces. The socket for the third leg was acceptable for an older model, but since I planned on making everything seamless, it was on the list.

While I'm on the subject, I thought I would share some of the tools and tips I use. The above are Color Shapers, rubber tipped tools for pushing clay and putty around. Learned about them in a sculpting seminar given by Matt Gubser, A man far too good looking for the miniatures hobby. Color Shapers leave putty with that smooth professional finish that can't be had from most tools.
These are some of my other handy tools. A basic putty blade, ball tipped stylus, and a chopstick with a pin in one end and a tiny blade on the other. I made the tiny blade by smashing the end of a paper clip in a pair of pliers then filing an edge.
Another important tool, Jewelry Pliers are normally used for making jump rings. I use them to bend arms, legs, tentacles without damaging the miniature. The smooth jaws don't leave tool marks and you can use them like a pipe bender to make wider curves. I used them to bend the Dark Young's tentacles into a more gribbly, grabbly chaos.

An example of repairing a damaged mini.



Another tip from Matt Gubser, when mixing epoxy putty, you can ensure the two parts are evenly mixed by twisting them together.
 Twisting makes the "sausage" longer, so just fold it in half and keep twisting.
Once you've twisted and folded a few times, then you can smash it together and knead the swirly, psychedelic glob until its a uniform, verdant green.

I didn't bother taking mid-sculpt pics, because the other-worldly anatomy of the Dark Young lends itself to free-form design. 
This pic shows the swoops you can get from the Color Shapers, the wrinkles from the putty blades, and the pock marks from the stylus and pin.
Part 2 will be basing tips and techniques, followed by priming and painting.