Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Enterprise era star ships from Shapeways

These just arrived today from Shapeways. They come from Coelian276's shop and were done as a special package for shipment for me.

Excellent detail in FUD

I had them produced in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD). The detail of which is fantastic.

Perfect scale for Attack-wing/Heroclix and for ACTA - Star Fleet

Coelian276 is very helpful if you are after a particular arrangement of ships for sale. Just drop him a message on Shapeways and he will be able to configure the miniatures you want to buy together.

Flash image for better detail

I'll post an update when I have had the chance to paint these. So stay tuned!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Painting the Enterprise era Klingon Bird-of-Prey

The relative scales of the NX-01 Enterprise, a Romulan Eagle (both ST Attack-wing) and two early BoP's from Shapeways

I mentioned in an earlier post that I bought on Shapeways some White Strong & Flexible (WSF) early Klingon Bird-of-Prey (BoP) miniatures. This was to test if they would be suitable in scale to the Star Trek Attack-wing/Heroclix miniatures.

Photo with flash showing better some of the colours

I thought I would detail here how I painted these miniatures both as a personal reference for later and just in case anyone was interested in using a similar process.

Close-up of the BoP

As these were WSF miniatures, there wasn't a great deal of detail and so it was a fairly simple process to paint. When the more detailed miniatures arrive from Shapeways, I'll spend more time on each model. But for now, if your interested, this is how the WSF ones were painted.

Flash photo close-up of the BoP

Painting procedure

  • Basecoat in Black Spray
  • Wetbrush in Citadel paint Straken Green
  • Wash heavily in Black Wash
  • Drybrush in Straken Green
  • Paint the engine intakes and bridge windows in Citadel paint Evil Sunz Scarlet
  • Paint engine exhaust ports in Citadel paint Fire Dragon Bright
  • Drybrush in Citadel paint Warpstone Glow

Saturday, 20 August 2016

ACTA - Star Fleet, Enterprise era Klingon Bird-of-Prey from Shapeways

WSF version of the early Klingon BoP

I was hunting around Shapeways recently and came across Armadillo Miniatures shop. There Coelian276 has some very nicely rendered miniatures from the Enterprise era Star Trek series. I decided to buy some Klingon Birds-of-Prey (BoP) in White Strong & Flexible material (WSF) just to test out the scale and detail of these miniatures.

Scaled nicely for ST Attack Wing/Heroclix miniature scale.

Even in WSF material, there is enough detail to satisfy. Moreover, as a bonus, they are nicely scaled to be able to be used with Star Trek Attack Wing / Heroclix and Star Trek Micro-machines miniatures. I'll be using the for A Call To Arms - Star Fleet and so have based them accordingly.

Very suitable for ACTA - Star Fleet

Coelian276 is a very accommodating chap and helped me out considerably when I wanted to order some bulk groupings of his Klingon models in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD). I've since purchased a number of the FUD models for Star Fleet and the Klingons of this era. These are going to add nicely to the First Romulan War campaign that stalled a while back. I've been a hankering to get back into some ACTA battles set in the Enterprise era of the Federation universe and this is the motivation I've needed!

But more on that to come!

Detail of the underside WSF version of the early Klingon BoP

Anyway, if you are after some very nicely detailed miniatures for Attack-wing / Heroclix, Star Fleet Battles or, in my case A Call To Arms - Star Fleet, drop by Armadillo Miniatures shop. Coelian276 is more than happy to group the ships you want in FUD for you to bulk purchase.

Monday, 15 August 2016

UPDATE: How to make a LotR online Dark-water miniature for role playing and wargaming

In the previous post here, I mentioned that I was making a Dark-water for use as a table-top miniature for our role-playing group. I noted that I wasn't very happy with the water effect and that I tried a craft glue that ended up giving a good water effect result.

I was tempted to add more glue to give a deeper water effect. Well I did, and it looks exactly what I was after. Have a look for yourself.

The air bubbles in the glue really add to the water effect of this miniature and help to break up the trunk of the flying base. I especially like how it links to the base of the torso of the miniature, giving the impression of oneness with the water stream.

Here's a few more views.

Now to make some more!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

How to make a LotR online Dark-water miniature for role playing and wargaming

A sinister Dark-water from the Lord of the Rings Online MMO game

One of the things that got me back into miniatures after a long absence was (disposable cash!) getting my old role-playing group back together. It had been a few years since we had played any role-playing games due to our individual family commitments. Biting the bullet, I volunteered to Game Master some games and many years latter, we are still playing on a monthly basis.

Kit-bashed Dark-water tested for scale against two GW Elven heroes

One of the first ideas I had for a miniature that I wanted to use in our RPG sessions was a creature from the Lord of the Rings MMO game called a Dark-water.


Dark-water background
In Elven-tales, the dreadful Mornen, known as a Dark-water in the Westron language, is a creature formed from the depths and brought into being by evil spirits. Rising from the rivers and lakes of Eriador to fight the unwary, these beings of shadow and seething liquid are said to have originated in the darkness of Angmar during the reign of the Witch-king long ago. Their essence remains strong to this day, and they will relentlessly attack the Free Peoples of Middle-earth with no fear of death.

The Dark-water (Mornen in Sindarin, pl. Mernin) is a creature of water created by evil spirits bound to Middle-earth by dark powers, and as such are akin to the wights of the Great Barrows. Adventurers should take warning from the dark mist that often swirls beneath the surface of a lake or swamp before the Dark-water rises to strike with cold hands. They should be especially wary of the crowned Mernen, who rule their kind in mockery of the Kings of Númenór.

Kit-bashed Dark-water starts to take shape after many years!

In order to make a kit-bash version of a Dark-water I bought a box of GW Vampire Counts Grave Guard Skeletons and looked for a suitable upper torso to use as the upper part of the body. Next I super-glued (my hand again!) the torso to a clear flying base that I use for Star Fleet - A Call to Arms. Then (it sat there for years! No really, it did. It became the most back-burnered miniature that I had in my collection. Only got around to doing something about this the other day!) I added suitable head, arms and weapon.

Dark-water on the painting table.

Once the glue had set, I sprayed the upper body, and as a consequence, the upper part of the flight base in a flat White spray as a base coat. After this, and I recommend not repeating this mistake, I used a red ink (Citadel Shade Carroburg Crimson) over the entire model and base. Unfortunately, the colour came out rather flat. I was going to use Citadel Aardcoat on the model when I remembered that I had some Citadel Technical paint Blood For The Blood God. I painted the entire model and base again in the Blood For The Blood God technical paint and finally got the result I was after.

Dark-water eyes. In retrospect, probably should have left them dark rather than paint them.

Once this dried, I used Citadel Temple Guard Blue to highlight the eyes of the Dark-water. In retrospect however, I am not sure that doing this really added to the sinister nature of the miniature.

Finally, I had one last dilemma. How do I make the stand of the flying base look more like water that is rising up to make the Dark-waters body?

I finally settled on using a sticky craft glue that I purchased from Bunnings. This craft glue sets clear and becomes stringy if you play with it too much. Great for making spider webs, but by liberally applying it to the stand, I was able to get a nice water effect that also had lots of bubbles in it (bonus!). So you will have to experiment to get something that would suit your miniature. PVA glue wont cut it in this regard, in my opinion, so experiment a little first.

Craft glue made a good water effect surprisingly!

I've done one layer of the craft glue water effect. But I'm tempted to do a little more to build on the first layer and add to the depth of water rising to make the Dark-water body. Fingers crossed!

Anyway, after many years of wanting to make this model I think I finally have hit on the way to make it come alive on the table-top. A new nasty to throw at the player characters in role-playing or to add to my undead armies on the table-top!

"You see a dark shadow in the water. Suddenly, something bursts up through the water's surface, the shower and spray from its emergence blinding you momentarily . You blink to clear the spray from your eyes. Before you the water column coalesces into the shape of the upper body of an armoured skeleton, holding a wicked looking cleaver. Its colour, blood crimson. As you stand there astonished at this apparition, it lunges for you swinging is weapon."

Die, player characters! Dieeeeeeeeee....!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Ral Partha/Iron Wind Metals Skeleton Levy w spear (model no 02-744)

Ral Partha/Iron Wind Metals Skeleton Levy w spear_model no 02-744

One of the projects that I have slowly ticking away on the painting table is building a Kings of War undead army for use with both KoW and also Ral Partha's fantasy miniatures rules. For that army, I wanted a core troop set of skeleton spearmen. Looking at the Iron Wind Metals website, I noted that they had the type of miniature I was after, but there were no images that I could find to their Skeleton Levy with spear. Taking a punt, I bought enough to make a unit or two and thought I would post an image or two of this mini for reference.

Painting the mini was fairly simple. I base coated it in White spray, then once dry, painted the spear in terracotta and the spear tip in bronze. I then dipped the mini in Army Painter Strong Tone shader. Easy as that.

Once dry, the eyes were painted with a dip of Teclis Blue and when dry, another drop of White.

Here's a bunch more images for reference. Enjoy!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Runequest II is back!

I've only recently got back from overseas and the poor blog has been feeling a little neglected of late. This blog to date has focused mostly on miniatures, but I am also an avid tabletop role player.

Runequest 1 (left) and 2 (right) and RQ2 reborn (middle)

My first ever foray into the remarkable story telling world of role playing games was with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (thank you Gary Gygax for sharing your vision with us all!). I guess for most of us role playing oldies, AD&D was also the first roleplaying game played by you.

The same content as the original, just updated with errata and remastered for the 50th anniversary of Glorantha

Until I had to read The Hobbit for school English classes, I had never heard of the fantasy genera before. I was hooked! I then flawed my parents when I asked for The Lord of the Rings for my next birthday. You see, before this time I had hated reading and was many years behind what my reading level at school should have been. My parents despaired and I wasn't very good at school.

Table of content

But when I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I was inspired. Nobel men of honour and great courage, deep friendship and self sacrifice, women of such unsearchable beauty, majesty and nobility of character, held in utter respect and chaste love by great warriors of men, elves and dwarves. Fell deeds and great struggles against impossible odds. Hope beyond hope in the darkest of hours. Tolkien's writings called to my heart as deep waters to my soul, and I was never the same again.

Same great old style graphics too

Needless to say, I credit these two works as the first changing force in my life. I went on to read books above my reading level and eventually, after finishing High School, went on to university to become a Biologist. The only book that has had more of a powerful and positive impact on me than Tolkien's works is the Holy Bible.

Rurik is back also. Missed you, lad!

But I digress. I had just finished reading The Lord of the Rings at about the age of 11 or so, and a school friend of mine told me about AD&D. A mutual acquaintance had introduced him to the game and soon the three of us were journeying through fantasy realms and fighting orcs, goblins and worse, smiting evil wherever it lay festering in the darkness.

Rune Magic and Battle Magic were revolutionary to RPG's at the time

It was not long after this that I was introduced to a new game called Runequest. After being an AD&D fan, I was blown away by the intuitiveness of Runequest, its application of D100% skill tests, armour reduction on damage and the fact that anyone could use Battle Magic. I fell in love with this game and its mechanic, the Basic Roleplaying system (BRP).

Dragonewts, enigmatic and arrogant to say the least!

Since that time, BRP / Runequest has been the mainstay of the roleplaying group that I game master for. Regardless of the genera of our games, I have relied on BRP / Runequest as the main gaming system we've used. I have taken my roleplaying group to the worlds of Fallout 3, to Middle-earth, to the superheroes world of City Of Heroes, and currently we are in the Warhammer Old World (with a dash of the Sword Coast thrown in to the costline of the Troll Country north of Kislev). The BRP mechanic has served us well and survived each transition admirably.

Runequest still has one of the best random treasure generating systems I've seen in an RPG. Castles and Crusades treasure generator is pretty good also

So when Chaosium announced its Kickstarter to bring back Runequest 2, I quickly signed up. I received my hardback copy of Runequest 2 just before we left to go overseas. Right now, you can only get the PDF version from Chaosium, but they will soon be rolling out printed copies for sale.

Return of an old friend

Seeing this come back into print, is like catching up with an old friend and picking up the friendship just where we left it. Fantastic!