31 January 2021

More Fodder for the Ren Fair

 I got a couple more units finished for my Italian Wars project yesterday morning. The "Spanish" have a command stand and some more handgunners. The "Venetians" picked up some Zweihander mercenaries. I'm putting quotes around the nationalities because the troops and army selections are simply based on those. The color palettes are loosely based on about 30 seconds of research.

I've got 24 horses and riders to go now. The horses have been base-colored and need their tack and harness to be addressed. The riders, that's another story. Regardless, it shouldn't be too long now!

23 January 2021

More Through the Queue

 Gaming has been down for the last couple weeks, but I managed to get a few models through the painting process. 

The first lot is a group of 20 Daleks that Mark gave me. They're just the right size for 15mm and mounted on pennies. I tried out some of the new Vallejo color shift paint on them, giving them a shifty gold/green/purple coat. The color shift paint is lot better looking live compared to photos, but you can see that some parts of the minis do take on a different hue.

The models themselves are that soft-ish plastic that gets sticky and weird when you hit it with primer. Thus, the finished product isn't as delightful as I'd like. But for free, they're great.

Next up is the last of the Goblin fleet. Part of the model wasn't in the box so I had to wait 3-4 weeks for Mantic to send a replacement bit.

And lastly, some Batman minis. Two Kobra Hazard troopers, Old Bitter Green Arrow from Dark Knight and Spartan.

Nothing too groundbreaking but nice additions to the collection. 

Tonight we're supposed to play D&D. I've been putting an adventure together and this evening will be chapter 1. 

10 January 2021

More Boats, Sir!

 Ziggy thought it would be frightfully funny to pile on with more Orc/Goblin ships for Armada as a Christmas present. Of course, I got him back by giving him a copy of the rules myself, forcing his hand. He's waiting for the Dwarf fleet to be released...

I finished up the Orc Support Ships for the Gatorade Goblins yesterday and bummed my bride's photography lightbox to take some pictures.

This ship's called a "Bloodrunner." Would you believe me if I said it was a long-ranged weapons specialist? Curious about the last of "axe motif" on the sail, but no worries!

Here's a squadron of small Rabble cutters. Typically these would be the goblin ships in an orc fleet. In my case they'll just be "da small wunz."

This last one, the Hammerfist, had some "challenges" with the primer or something on the sails. The green seemed to take OK from my airbrush, but the wash on the sails just pooled up instead of covering smoothly. It was certainly disappointing, especially as that was was one of the last things I did in the painting process. No matter, I'm leaving it as is. I do have a second one of these ships in drydock, waiting for Mantic and the postal service to get a new front arm assembly to me.

As for the lightbox, my wife found this little guy on Amazon for around $16. Since it's pretty damn cold out this morning, I though it might be a perfect opportunity to give it a go.

It's about 12" x 12" x 12". Has a strip of LEDs along the front upper lip. You plug it into a USB power source to light it up. I used one of my portable chargers.

Not a bad little gizmo that goes a long way towards making excellent pictures. Of course, it just makes it easier to find painting flaws!

04 January 2021

Meanwhile, in Gotham

The Christmas-themed Batman Miniatures game finally got played over the weekend. It's been a long time coming, and certainly lived up to our expectations. Wayne set up the scenario which featured a trio of villains, Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold and Killer Frost and a handful of their cronies kidnapping the mayor's wife and holding her hostage in the square. Green Arrow and Nightwing along with Arsenal and Black Canary all arrived at the scene to rescue old girl and teach these Grinches something about the Christmas Spirit!

I took control of Arrow and Nightwing, Ziggy led Canary and Arsenal and Wayne commanded all of the bad guys.

Our blurry battlefield. Green Arrow and Nightwing started in the blue and white car in the lower left. Arsenal deployed near them while Canary was able to infiltrate back towards the fire station, in position to activate the Bat-Signal. The mayor's wife was in the center next to Santa.

Arsenal sets upon a thug near the dumpster. Arrow parks the car in a blocking position to keep the rest of the bad guys from getting clear lines of sight to our first fight location. Captain Cold watches from the roof top. Wayne was a bit put off by our plan of overwhelming one side of the battlefield. Much of his force would have a very long walk to join the fight.

Nightwing uses his Batclaw to zip up to the top of the building to duke it out with the Captain.

It was a harrowing fight for sure! The first step is a doozy.

Captain Cold gets away for a moment but Nightwing's persistence pays off. Captain Cold plummets to the cold pavement below. Oof!

Black Canary quickly scales the hook and ladder to try to activate the Bat Signal. She must disable Mr. Freeze's goon first though!

Speaking of Freeze, he's joined the brawl by the dumpster. The first thug we encountered was a real John McClane though and kept up with Arsenal and Arrow like you wouldn't believe. Arsenal took one hell of a beating in the process and hung on by a toenail. Oliver Queen discovered that Mr. F was a tough nut to crack and perhaps better left alone.

Canary's scream paralyzes the crook atop the firehouse. She takes the opportunity to activate the Bat Signal. Help is on the way!

It should be stated that at this point of the game, Zig and I were getting absolutely wrecked. Other than Captain Cold, we couldn't get anything going and Wayne was just eating our lunch. Wayne was gracious enough to allow both Batman and Batwoman as reserves via the Bat Signal.

We showed our appreciation by having Batwoman slam the Batmobile into a thug, taking him down. Wayne was not amused.

Arrow and Arsenal continued to struggle with Freeze and Friends.

Captain Cold somehow managed to shake off the 30 foot drop, but no sooner had he stood up, Batwoman was kicking him in the chin!

Arsenal ran over to the Batmobile to heal, being down to a single health point. Nightwing thumped another thug, this time in the snow.

It takes Bruce and Kate to knock out the 9-turn thug! Good Lord that guy was full of piss and vinegar!

As time expired, Arsenal ran over to the mayor's wife and uncuffed her from Santa's sled. Mr. Freeze shook his fist at Nightwing while the others scanned the streets for more targets. There were none to be found and the episode wrapped up.

Now that's a proper game of Batman! Loads of action, loads of memorable moments and excellent characters. The nameless thug who went toe-to-toe with Arsenal and Green Arrow was incredible. His associate dubbed "The Shoveler" was a wrecking machine. Poor Captain Cold and Killer Frost got a raw deal between gravity doing its thing and KF getting the fists of fury from Nightwing and friends. Killer Frost's long run and short fight meant she didn't even make the write up!Really though, Nightwing was out man of the match - he was an absolute wrecking machine that just ran through the opposition. We'd have done well to just send him right into the center, king of the mountain style. He could have handled it.

Great game Wayne. Looking forward to the next of course!

02 January 2021

First Gaming of the Year

 Happy new year folks. It's been a weird couple of weeks here at the casa. A week before Christmas, my wife reported that she couldn't smell anything. "Damn damn hell shit and damn!" I think was my response. We got get tested for the bug which of course came back positive. The rest of the family + my mom got tested as well and we all came back negative. We're 99% sure Wifey got infected by Mom who had been sporting a hacking cough for a couple weeks with no other symptoms. They were together for about 3 hours one Saturday just prior, baking. We had a frustrating Christmas but it quite obviously could have been a lot worse! Yesterday, Wifey finally got a negative test result back. The rest of us continued to test negative the entire time. Her symptoms never expanded much beyond the small and taste thing, thank the Lord. I did get shot #1 of the Moderna vaccine at work during the week, so that's awesome.

My gaming got back underway yesterday with some X-Wing. I know, not terribly impressive, but always fun and with a large enough ship collection, always something different. 

For this game, I used the Galactic Republic (think much-maligned prequel trilogy) and Ziggy pushed the Empire, including a tricked-out Vader.

That's me with the Y-Wing, Jedi Starfighter and two Clones. One of my favorite selections with the Republic is having R2D2 pilot the Y-Wing, with C3PO riding shotgun as a crewman. It's not a bad loadout and terribly amusing for someone like me.

The clone fighters' fragility again proves itself, though they weren't pushovers. Each got in a good hit or two on enemy ships before becoming one with the cosmos.

So R2 and Plo Koon had their hands full with four enemy fighters, what's a droid to do? Kill stuff.

 R2 hammered the TIE Interceptor and it went away. For those of you who aren't X-Wing players, Soontir Fel, the Interceptor pilot, is one of the best of the best. It felt good to take him out with a pair of droids.

No picture, but R2 took out another TIE shortly thereafter. General Grievous should have hired R2 as a mercenary a long time ago!

Unfortunately, it was not all fun a games for the droids. 

The low-maneuverability Y-Wing couldn't play keep-away for long and when Ziggy decided to stop chasing the Jedi and simply finish off the Y-Wing, it was game over. Vader takes the last shots of the day and the droid ship falls apart. Feh.

A darn entertaining game for sure. Ziggy's first game using Vader convinced him right away that a high-end, force-wielding, ultra-nimble ship is always worth the points. Plo Koon was fun for me, but matched up against two opponents with better initiative, he was very hamstrung and unable to arc-dodge effectively.

We're getting in that game of Batman with Wayne today. At last! A fortnight late :)