Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Workbench: A Terminator Rebels paintjob

In an earlier post, I gagged on the crap minis that came with Terminator: Genisys the Miniature Game..

so I searched around and painted some packs of Copplestone Terminators ..

as well for the opposing side, some Copplestone bikers and some Reaper sculpts..

I also built an Aerial HK from Pegasus Hobbies..

Anyways, I wanted to flesh out the Human resistance, and needed some John Connor troops. If you recall in the movie, they have uniforms (though how they are supplied beats me)..

I looked around and got some Copplestone sculpts (again) that are near future Jungle troops..

So, I based them and later added an RPG-firing trooper from CP Models...

I won't bore you with painting troops. I find painting modern day troopers boring to be honest, and didn't bother taking photos of the step by step process. It is a bit of drudgery when you don't paint what you like. Scumbag scavengers and survival civilians, no problem, but my heart was not into boring troopers for some reason.

Anyways, here are my human soldiers that I can use for Terminator, and I imagine, a host of other genres. I didn't want to make them just various shades of green, so I put some burnt sienna colour in their webbing and packs.

If you squint, you can see the pulse rifles in the 40 mega watt range (wink).

Add my bikers/scavengers and I now have enough for both sides of the War Against the Machine.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

My workbench: DIY 1 hour fantasy rubble

I've been playing some Frostgrave, the premise of which, is fantasy wizards battling it out in this thawing Altantis-esque ancient city that was destroyed. I'm therefore on the lookout for fantasy rubble (but without vegetation on it.)

I saw this toy at the dollar store that makes 5 different animal calls if you press the button. I bought it for $3 just for the bear head.

I broke off the head and mounted it on a foam wall, which I also damaged and primed it black by hand as the styrofoam wall prohibits using a spray can.

As the black primer was drying, I took a CD (which you can buy by the ton at the dollar store for a song), and mounted some gray clay.

After the primer dried, I dried on first gray and then some dashes of white on the bear head.

In a previous post, I cut up kid's plastic shields and swords sold at the dollar store, and thus had spare cut-up parts from that still.

This piece is actually part of a toy sword hilt, for instance. I will use that to prop up the "fallen bear head and wall"

As the clay was hardening, I put on splashes of brown paint, and mounted the bear head and various other pieces I had laying around, leaving enough room for a miniature to get past and hide behind.

There you go. I now have some more modular fantasy rubble I can lay down anywhere. It took about 1 hour from start to finish.

Played Masmorra.. didn't know it was going to bore ya!

My friend Jim is a fan of Arcadia Quest, a game we've tried out before, so it was not unexpected that he kickstarted Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia.

Masmorra is in the same gameverse as Arcadia Quest but with different mechanics.

I have to say off the bat that the anime- style box art turned me off, but more importantly, the game's Chibi-style of miniatures continue to give me the old head shake. Yeah, yeah, I know, they're cute, but I am not a 12 year old girl still watching cartoons, so while I can appreciate the sculpts, they also make my eyes roll.

I've said this before, but we are all as gamers, especially miniature gamers, trying to dispel the notion to the public that we don't play with "toy soldiers" and Chibi's are not helping.

Anyways, I was still willing to give this a shot.. 

In the basic game, Jim got 5 sculpts..

but as a kickstarter, he got 15 more, which even impressed me, all equally sculpted well I admit.

A good aspect is that these 20 Masmorra miniatures came with cards that allow them to be interchanged with Arcadia Quest. This fact alone means that no matter how bad this game is, it's a keeper for Jim. Kickstarting this game means Jim has basically bought 20 Arcadia boosters.

The game and kickstarter boxes came also with these colourful dice which I discovered turn out to be our monster villains.. Nice and bright colourful monsters to go with the cartoon theme I guess.

In the game, you roll a monster on these cartoony dice and consult a major or minor monster chart...

When you enter certain tiles, monsters are spawned from there like a 1990s video game every turn, no matter what. 

The big boss villain is a token..

It's a dungeon crawl game, and combat and movement is done by rolling these black dice, which give you abstract concepts of fighting with a sword, using a ranged bow weapon, drinking a potion, defending with a shield, walking or using magic. Abstract, as there are no game mechanics that represent weapons or other equipment our Chibi's are carrying.

I say "fighting", but if your character dies, he comes back to life again in the next turn like Wile E. Coyote, as if nothing happened, back to full health. While you are dead, your mini is laid flat.

We played the basic game, where the objective was the first player to reach 16 experience points and the epic game, where the player with the most experience, after killing the big boss, wins.

I was a wizard in the basic game, and a caricature of Elvis Presley in the epic game.

We started off in a single tile, and as we moved around, tiles for the first, second and third floor, connected by stairway tiles, were added (for the epic game).

A distance between the 1st and 2nd floor..

On the 3rd floor with the big boss..

There is not too much appeal to this game, at least for me. You basically roll the black dice, allocate them to fight a monster(s), then try to backstab the other players with the cards in your hand as well as move other monsters in the dungeon on top of them. Then, you sit back for 10-15 minutes until it's your turn and repeat.

The only interaction when it's not your turn is to use cards that say "play anytime."

So, some downtime for all players not your turn, which is okay, but the most frustrating part of this game was, if you find yourself in a spawn zone, monsters continually get spawned on you. I would fight these monsters in my tile one by one, but all 3 monsters in the tile (the max) simultaneously attack you afterward, every round of combat. You only have a maximum of 6 health, and 3 monsters can easily do more damage than that in a single round.

For almost every turn then, in both the basic and epic game, the cycle of game play for me was to "stand up" refreshed, fight 1 or more (usually 3) monsters that spawned in that tile while I was dead, kill one or two monsters, then die. Once you die, you can't get the experience points of the 2 you killed.

The Masmorra game cycle:

1. Stand up
2. Fight 3 monsters
3. Kill 2 out of the 3 monsters.
4. Apply damage from 3 monsters to your character.
5. Die
6. Do not collect any experience points.

Repeat this cycle above, hour after hour after hour. 

I spent more time on my back than a street prostitute.

A very very frustrating experience, and will not play this game again. Even Jim said this game was not the best.

A thumbs down for me.

Friday, February 10, 2017

My workbench: Wedding Cake Dummies make for good fantasy buildings

In a recent post, I was using kids' dollar store shields for use with fantasy terrain.

Anyways, I cut out this dragon emblem from the shield..

..only I did not know what to do with it as it was fairly large.

However, I was at a food bulk store the other day and noticed these round styrofoam things called cake dummies..

I bought a 12 inch one for under $10 and went home to google what a cake dummy is. Apparently, when chefs are too lazy to make a cake, they cut corners and layer cream and stuff on this styrofoam, for decorative purposes.

Whatever.......this stuff is great for making hills and such.. However, I decided to experiment since this was my first time with these cake dummies and make a fantasy building out of it, for Frostgrave, etc.

With this one 12 inch cake dummy, I made 2 buildings though.

Building # 1

I had an idea to put the dragon emblem on top of the building, but first I needed to make it look like it was made out of blocks of course.

Last time, when I made these fantasy domes, I layered on clay...

I didn't want to do it this time for something that is 12 inches long, so I decided to etch in lines instead, making sure the square "block" is three squared centimeters.

After I etched lines using a pen, I used my foam cutter to deepen the lines and also decided to cut about 1/3rd to make another building using the foam cutter, as I thought this "building" was way too big.

After that, I painted it in stone gray, added doors and windows and put on the dragon emblem.

Not bad..

Building # 2

When I sliced off part of building 1, I was left with a half moon shape. I decided to stand it up and cut off a part to put on a door and to make it look it weird and curved, as my domes above.

I also added this saber tooth tiger head I used unsuccessfully on another terrain project to make this building more fantasy-ish..

As building # 1, I painted it stone gray and added windows and a metal door. 

All in all, I'm pleased with my cake dummy experiment. This did not take long. I might add a chimney to them later if I have time.