Sunday, September 25, 2011

28mm WWII: Japanese Infantry Test Paints

I haven't had too much time to work on miniatures or much else this week.  However, I've got an itch to return to my 28mm WWII project.  Those bags of West Wind Japanese Infantry have been staring at me long enough.  Time for them to hit the painting table.  So I spent most of my available time cleaning up the models, mounting them on bases, and then adding basing texture.  They're now primed and ready to go.  But I got stuck on the uniform colors.

I've always imagined Japanese to wear khaki colored uniforms.  It's probably a Hollywood thing.  My research didn't turn up anything in those colors.  Basically it's a few different shades of green for either the Pacific Islands or Southeast Asia.  For China, uniforms were brown gray.  So I imagined my US Rangers to be in the vein of Merril's Marauders.  Therefore, the Japanese Infantry should be painted for the SE Asia scheme.  But I plan to some day pull together US Marines for the island hopping campaigns.  I did test paints for both.
On the left is the Southeast Asia scheme.  It's Vallejo Green Ochre.  On the right is the Pacific Islands scheme, which is Vallejo Middlestone.  Both got a wash of Citadel Sepia.   Though the left side looks more like the Japanese you see in old war movies, I think the right side looks better.  So I'm leaning that way.  If anyone has an opinion, I'd like to hear it.

Once I settle on a color scheme.  I've got a full rifle platoon to paint.
That's three squads of 13 men, NCO and Jr NCO, LMG, and ten riflemen.  The HQ is a two man squad.  I still have enough infantry to do another full squad.  I also got all of the West Wind line.  So I have a lot of weapons teams to complete.  But when it's done I will have a nice sized Japanese Infantry force with different options for it.  The challenge will be finding 28mm sized vehicles for them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Temple of Skulls, The Other Kind of Church

Keeping with my religiously themed terrain project, this week I introduce my take on the Temple of Skulls.

This is a really nice piece of terrain that will work great in any fantasy themed game (OK, maybe not LotR) or part of a WH40K game.  I really like the details that went into this model.  It really gives the feel of a decrepit, collapsing temple to some evil power.

I did a slightly different take on the colors that were given on the kit's box.  I think the GW treatment made it look too bright, like a McDonald's Playland that fell to Chaos.  Not that my take is "all that" but I liked the more muted and mysterious colors.  I was going for the look of something forgotten and left to the ravages of the elements.

As a side note, I only used Americana paints on this model.  In fact, I use Americana paints on all my terrain.  I really like these paints, and find them fairly comparable in working qualities to the "serious" paints.  They do take a few coats for even coverage, though.  But they come in giant bottles and the paint doesn't dry out.  I'm still using paints I bought back in 2003!  So overall they're still a great value.

I also completed some craters from GW's Moonscape pack. 
As far as holes in the ground go, they're nice.  I tried to give each crater a different look, as if some are newer and some older.  I don't know if that really comes across.

Next up is the Arcane Ruins set, which should go fast.  I also ordered a couple of boxes of GW's trees.  Then after that I think I'll take a break from terrain to get back to my minis.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Other Blog

OK, true confessions time.  I'm cheating on you guys with another blog.  There, I've said it.  And I'm afraid that my other blog might be unacceptable to you, as it's only tangentially related to mini games.  Oh my.  This is getting serious.

For the few of you who actively read my blog, you might know that I enjoy solo gaming with a lot of my minis.  I picked up Mythic's Game Master Emulator (GME) as a means to help run the "NPC opponent"  in these games.  Of course it was only a mater of time before I used GME for it's intended purpose: RPGs.

What started as a small experiment for me with the GME turned into a full blown game.  I've been playing a series of Dark Heresy games (hence the tangential connection to this blog)  using the GME.  It has been a blast and I'm going to stick with it.  To that end, I created a blog to specifically address my solo gaming activities.

I invite you to check out my other blog, Solosaurus.  It's very new and there are not a lot of posts to read.  However, my first complete story arc of a Dark Heresy game is recorded there in a few posts.  Click on the Dark Heresy label to get all the posts.  I've written up all the sessions, really almost becoming 40K fan fiction.  I was finding my way with this at first, but have settled into a stable format now.

If you like what you find, please consider following the blog.  I'll be starting up a new story arc for Dark Heresy, and plan on doing Deathwatch very soon.  I'm also looking forward to Black Crusade, if it ever gets released.  This just opens the door to uber-geekdom, and I've done a bit of Pathfinder and am seriously considering Call of Cthulhu.  If I find a good pulp adventure RPG, I might go there too.  Anyways, please have a look!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time for Church

I've got a lot of figures to paint.  But this week I wasn't much interested in any of them.  So, I moved on to my small collection of terrain pieces. 

One thing I really wanted to get done was my gothic church from Pegasus Hobbies.  I bought two of their sets and was really unimpressed with the size of the building.  There wasn't even room for two 28mm models in it.  So I bought one more set and was able to get a nice sized building out of it. My buddy Tim helped with assembly.  He also took some of my spare MDF and mounted the model on it for me.  Thanks Tim.  Here are some pictures.

I will say this was a bitch to paint.  I know it looks simple, but getting inside was not easy.  Also, there's just a ton of surface area to cover.  My wife made the wry comment that I was painting a gray model with gray paint.  I had to admit, I was at a loss for a reply.  "But it's not the right shade of gray," did not go over well as a sensible answer.

Tim, a dyed in the wool model converter, took some of bits from my Cities of Death terrain and added a balcony and ladder on the inside.  So now a model can sit up there and snipe out of that big window.  The interior is just a little shy of 10" x 10".  My fat hands will have a hard time moving models in there.

There were a lot of leftover pieces.  Tim and I put them in various arrangements until we came up with another building scheme.  This can be either a mausoleum or a rectory to go with the church.  Here are some shots of the building, not even primed yet.

I'll get to that one sooner or later.  I'm going to work on the Temple of Skulls terrain piece next, as well as finish out some crater pieces I have.  With my new table, I need good terrain to fill it out.  So I'll focus on that while I think about what figures I want to paint next.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Space Marine is Here!

I just got the new Space Marine game for Xbox 360 tonight.  I lucked out and got it as a rental from my Gamefly queue.  This almost never happens with new releases.  My son is actually playing it first, and I have the easier job of just watching.  Actually it's just as well, since I suck at shooters and you're really just moving through a linear story anyway.  So watching is cool with me. Let someone else press the buttons.

I've watched about 90 minutes of game play.  I will say that the graphics are spectacular..... and tremendously bloody.  This is just the sort of game that will help fuel those "video games lead to violent behavior" pundits.  I suppose the next chainsaw accident involving a teen will be tied back to watching Space Marines eviscerate hordes of Orks with chainswords.

At any rate, they've done a great job capturing a forge world under siege.  The Ultramarines are deployed to deal with the Xenos threat (Orks) and to recover a Titan that is on the forge world. The Marines are perfectly modeled, practically look like real people.  The Imperial Guard are less impressive.  The Orks are spot on, including that ape-like gait I imagined that they should have.  I do get a little tired of them screaming "Space Marines!  Kill 'em!"  over and over. 

The Orks attack in massive hordes, and you only have three space marines to counter them.  In a real game of 40K those space marines would be pulped seven times over.  But in this video game, they are truly gods among men.  One chainsword  slash liquefies about five Orks at once.  Awesome.

So you know where I'll be for the next several days!  If you can, get your hands on this game and give it a shot.  It's also available on PC, if you don't have an Xbox. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Evil Dead!

Why I'm not as productive as I used to be
Miniature painting this week has been a slow affair, very hit or miss.  I'm learning what it means to have a child involved with high school sports.  Combined with ever lengthening work days, free time is not what it was a few short weeks ago.  But I'm still plugging away, this week setting my goals on easy to do items.  Hence, I worked on completing my undead warband for Song of Blades and Heroes.  Check out the sweet zombie action.

These are Reaper zombies.  They come three to a pack.  I really liked the looks of them, particularly the female model.  Her back foot has come off and she's pitching forward.  The zombie in the middle is ripped across the midsection and his spine has popped out his back.  I can empathize with that, sitting in an office chair all day.

Next up is a Reaper ghoul from the Warlord line.
He's a little bit on the small side for me.  I painted him along with the three zombies all in one go.  He's  a pretty cool looking model.  I debated skin tones, and then just settled on the sickly green thing.  It works.

I have a vampire leading my undead warband.  I wanted to show the vampire's traditional hold over wolves, bats, and vermin in my list.  So here are a few additions to reflect that.

These are Reaper rat swarms that come two per package.  The picture came out like crap and I'm too lazy to retake it.  Since it's just a jumble of pink tails, rat bodies, and beady red eyes, I figured there's not much worth looking at here.  Moving along.....

These are Reaper's Dire Wolves, also two per package.  These look really nice, and even better in person.  The fur texture is really right on and the faces are nicely sculpted.  Also, since these are dire wolves, they stand fairly high.  They come up to about shoulder height of a man-sized model.  I'm tempted to model more of these and add in some wolves for an all animal warband.

So that was all I got done this week.  I was glad to complete the undead warband, and put these guys on the table tonight for a play test.  I actually wrangled my son into pushing the models around for a bit, which was a nice change of pace from solo gaming SBH.  He played Dwarfs, which are insanely over-powered in SBH.  At least I think they are.

I learned that painting up zombies was a waste of time.  At Q6+ they never activate.  Mine just stood at the starting line and never moved.  Though, for 7pts each, they are a cheap way to keep your army from breaking.  Just hide them out of sight and never activate them.  Cheesy? Why I agree!  The rest of my undead flew around causing terror that the dwarfs laughed off.  Then all my guys died for real this time.

We played a Legions of Middle Earth scenario, Seize the Prize, which worked great in this format.  My rat swarms actually unearthed the prize and got it off the board.  So it was a minor victory for the Undead.  I'll have to re-think this list, or stop playing against dwarfs!  Anyway, that's all for now.